JPMorgan Names New Head for Mortgage Business

Read the latest propaganda from Chase…Lowman demoted; Jamie Dimon’s righthand man is Frank Bisignano, now heading up Chase Home Lending…

Hoping to troubleshoot some of the problems plaguing its mortgage operations, Jamie Dimon dispatched one of his top lieutenants to oversee the Chase Home Lending business.

Frank Bisignano, JPMorgan Chase’s chief administrative officer, will now add supervision of the Chase mortgage origination and loan payment collection businesses to his other duties, which include managing technology and real estate for the bank. David Lowman, the current head of Chase Home Lending, will retain his title but report to Mr. Bisignano.

The management change comes as Chase’s mortgage business has faced considerable challenges as a result of the recession. Chase, like most of its peers, has faced enormous losses on its large portfolio of home equity and mortgage loans after loosening its lending standards during the housing boom. But it has also struggled to digest the mortgage operations that it acquired with its takeovers of Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns during the financial crisis.

Many parts of the business ran on separate technology systems, making a three-way integration especially tricky. At the same time, Chase has come under fire from Washington for failing to cope with a giant wave of foreclosures as well as overcharging several thousand military veterans.

“The mortgage business for everybody has changed tremendously,” Mr. Bisignano said in a brief interview on Friday. “Adding help to it can never be a bad idea.”

Charles W. Scharf, the head of Chase Retail Financial Services, and Mr. Lowman have had their hands full contending with all of these issues over the last few years. They have significantly tightened the bank’s lending standards, halted the sale of new mortgages through independent brokers and overhauled the bank’s servicing operations. They have also hired thousands of employees and improved technology to try to keep up with the foreclosure mess.

In 2010, Chase also began cordoning off its existing portfolio of real estate loans from those that conformed to its tougher new standards, a so-called good bank/bad bank strategy that has been used frequently by financial institutions to restructure their operations.

But with Mr. Bisignano, Mr. Dimon is installing one of his strongest managers with a long history of overseeing the operations of several banks. He also comes from a family of veterans, which will be crucial to smoothing relations with lawmakers, regulators and military leaders.

Mr. Bisignano, a trusted lieutenant of Mr. Dimon, followed him to JPMorgan Chase in 2005 as his chief administrative officer. Mr. Bisignano was charged with consolidating the bank’s real estate and identifying other cost-saving measures.

At Citigroup, Mr. Bisignano ran its global transaction services business and helped oversee technology and operations for its investment bank. Mr. Bisignano, 51, will report to both Mr. Dimon and Mr. Scharf.

Here is the email from Mr. Dimon and Mr. Scharf:

As you know, our Home Lending business has gone through a period of enormous challenge and change. Our team has worked day and night for almost three years to deal with the unprecedented credit environment and the added complexity from the WaMu and legacy Bear Stearns EMC merger integrations.

We recognize how much we’ve accomplished, but know we still have a great deal of work ahead of us. Given the importance of this business to our company and our customers, we’ve asked Frank Bisignano, our Chief Administrative Officer, to take on additional responsibilities and get more directly involved in managing this business. Effective immediately, Dave Lowman, CEO of Home Lending, and his team will report to Frank.

Frank will continue to report to Jamie as CAO and will report to Charlie on Home Lending, which will remain part of Retail Financial Services. He continues on the firm’s Operating Committee and Executive Committee, and joins the RFS Management team.

Frank is a great partner to all of us and an extraordinary operating executive. He is an integral part of all six of our lines of business, and we are thrilled to be able to leverage his leadership and experience more directly in Home Lending.

We have a leading Home Lending business. Chase is the third-largest mortgage lender and the #3 mortgage servicer in the country. We have 8 million customers who are living in a home with a Chase mortgage. When customers have difficulties, we do everything we can to help them find a way to avoid foreclosure. We have offered more than 1 million modifications and prevented foreclosure for more than 480,000 customers. We recently announced that we are opening another 25 Chase Homeownership Centers, bringing our total to 76 in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

We look forward to working with Frank to make our Home Lending business even stronger.

________________________________________________________________________________ 

I think they mean to say they look forward  to continuing the bankster shell game of preying upon legions of beleaguered homeowners who just want to work out a payment plan with their lender in order to remain in their homes; the shell game being the charade of pretending to help with no intention of actually providing any help at all.

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WaMu Chase Contact Information

Washington Mutual home loan customers are “serviced” by Chase. In late September 2008, the FDIC sold Washington Mutual’s assets, secured debt obligations and deposits to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Home loans which originated with Washington Mutual and are in default end up with Chase Home Finance in California; it is possible (unverified) that all Washington Mutual originated loans are handled in California by Chase Home Finance. Following is a list of key Washington Mutual Chase contacts with phone numbers and/or web addresses when available:

Chase Home Finance (generic): (800) 848-9380 [This number handles home loans (in default) originated by Washington Mutual]

Chase Home Finance (Direct fax): (904) 462-1926

Chase Loss Mitigation: (866) 316-9218

Chase Loss Mitigation Alternate Numbers: (866) 349-3540; (800) 446-8939

Chase Customer Service (generic): (866) 550-5705

Chase general fax (generic): (866) 282-5682

You cannot do it alone. Get a HUD-approved counselor to negotiate on your behalf. They are FREE. Go to Springboard (800) 431-8456 for Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management or visit: www.credit.org

Click on http://www.credit.org/housing/loan-modification-program and get started. Chase says they want to help but they are giving lip service only to the American people. Your tax dollars have paid for HUD-approved counseling, use it!

Why use a counselor? Because when you fill out the forms, Chase is running your numbers up against a “black box” formula only they know. Your counselor can at least tell you when your numbers are way out of line and exceed national averages. You need to use every tool in your arsenal to fight the Chase machine and get a loan modification.

You will need to submit a third-party authorization form to allow a counselor to speak on your behalf with Chase. Request the form from both Chase and see if your own HUD-approved counselor has a form. Submit both immediately so Chase can’t stall.

HAMP & $729,750…this is the dollar cap on loan balances which can be modified by HAMP, but the number is misleading. A dollar cap is assigned to each county in the nation. For example, in Cape May County, NJ, the HAMP cap is $487,500. Because my loan balance is greater than $487,500, (and also happens to be greater than $729, 750) I do not qualify for a HAMP modification. I qualify only for a CHAMP (Chase in-house program) modification. Save time and aggravation and learn your county HAMP cap to determine if you even qualify for a HAMP modification!

Chase Homeowner’s Information Packet: https://www.chase.com/ccpmweb/chf/document/Borrowers_Assistance_Form_Chase_Fill_2009.pdf  

Chase Home Ownership Centers (allegedly they will help you submit & follow-up on modification paperwork): https://www.chase.com/chf/mortgage/hrm_centers

Do Chase Home Ownership Centers help struggling homeowners?

April 20, 2010, 11:39 am: I was denied service at the Chase Home Ownership Center in Media, PA starting on December 15, 2009 (they would not meet with me because I “had to be 31+ days past due”), then on January 5, 2010 (they would not meet with me because my loan was “already in the system”) and again on April 22, 2010 (they would not meet with me because my loan was “already in the system”). The Chase Home Ownership Centers are not helping this struggling homeowner. I need answers about my loan modification, not more opaque banking procedures and certainly not a continuation of the predatory lending practices devised by Washington Mutual.

Chase Home Ownership Centers are not decision makers!

April 20, 2010, 11:25 am: I asked Jason Papa what the function of a Chase Home Ownership Center was and if I should drive there for a face to face meeting. He said “anybody active we can’t take”; we “originate and monitor applications” and “we are not decision makers at the Chase Home Ownership Center”; he went on to say they were a “contact point” for the consumer. He remembered my loan and requested permission to pull the file. I agreed and we talked about the situation.

I wanted clarification on “too much equity” and the 30% formula Jacqueline Ham from the Chase Home Lending Executive Office had provided on February 12, 2010. Jason said if my monthly mortgage payment was less than 31% of my monthly gross pay I would not qualify for HAMP. I reminded him my loan did not qualify for HAMP regardless, but I was asking about the equity formula, not the relationship between monthly mortgage payment and monthly salary. I also made it clear my monthly mortgage payment was far greater than 31% of my monthly gross salary. Jason was stuck on HAMP and referenced the $727,750.00 cap. (I didn’t bother to point out that in Cape May County, NJ the cut-off was $487,500.) I jumped in and said it was not about HAMP. I was asking about the Chase in-house program – I thought Chase had another program, an in-house program that he’d mentioned in our January 5, 2010 call.

Jason said I’d been denied (in August 2009) but I could always “apply again if my situation changes”. I said my situation had changed; my savings were depleted and I was pursuing the 12/11/09 loan modification application allegedly underway. I said an interior appraisal had been done on 4/1/10. Only then did Jason realize what I was talking about and he said he could not help me. I persevered and asked about a face-to-face meeting with a decision-maker; Jason said “no one meets with the decision-makers” (Nobody gets in to see the Wizard, not nobody, no how!) and the decision-makers “don’t write a lot of letters”; “they only send one when the decision is made”.

Based on my attempts to get a copy of the denial letter allegedly sent 6/30/09 and/or 8/25/09 for my 2/24/09 modification, I knew this was true. Chase put as little as possible in writing, thus continuing the opaque banking practices and predatory lending schemes devised by Washington Mutual.  I thanked Jason for his time and we ended the call.

Chase Home Ownership Centers have no answers

April 20, 2010, 11:21 am: Mary Beth from the Chase Home Ownership Center in Media, PA called me back and said she would like to help but my loan was “already in the system”. It was with Natalia Carrillo in CA; per Mary Beth, Natalia was either a “negotiator” or a “processor” (I couldn’t get a definitive answer from Mary Beth on this – she said she didn’t know Ms. Carrillo’s title but she knew Natalia had some seniority with Chase & had been there at least five years.) I asked a few more questions but Mary Beth could not provide answers; she said I’d need to speak with someone else and then put Jason Papa on the phone. I reminded Jason we’d spoken on January 5, 2010 while I was with Doris B. in the offices of the CCCSDV.

Need Chase loan modification answers? Chase Home Ownership Centers don’t have them…

April 20, 2010, 10:02 am: I called the Chase Home Ownership Center in Media, PA (610) 892-6620 and spoke with Mary Beth to see if I could come in and what exactly it was they did there. She suggested phoning the Chase Customer Service number from the Borrowers’ Assistance form (866) 550-5705; when I told her they had no answers she suggested calling Chase Imminent Default (888) 708-3336 and then Chase Loss Mitigation at (800) 446-8939. I told Mary Beth I’d tried all those places but could not get answers.

I asked again about what exactly the Chase Home Ownership Center did; Mary Beth hedged and said she’d need to check with a Loan Advisor. She took my loan number and phone number and said to expect a call back later in the day. I said I’d be in the area the next day and I’d really like to make an appointment to come in, or even just drop in, but could I please understand the function of the Chase Home Ownership Centers? Mary Beth said they were “home ownership advisors” or “modification advisors”. As we chatted it became obvious she could not help me, although she wanted to be helpful. She said everyone was in a meeting learning new systems, but someone would call me back.

Chasing answers from the Chase Home Ownership Center

April 20, 2010, 8:10 am: I called the Chase Home Ownership Center in Media, PA (610) 892-6620 and got the same recording I’d heard on December 14, 2009: their hours were Monday – Thursday 10 -7; Friday 9-6 and Saturday 9-1. I checked the website to learn more about the Chase Homeownership Centers; I had to be in Glen Mills, PA the next day, which I thought was pretty near Media, PA; maybe I could schedule an appointment.

Chase had opened 49 Home Ownership Centers – promising. Per the web site Opening Chase Homeownership Centers across the country reflects our commitment to helping families stay in their homes whenever possible. Now, struggling customers can visit the centers to meet face to face with loan advisors to talk about their situation.” This was pretty encouraging because I’d been trying for almost fourteen months to meet face to face with a loan advisor and work out a solution. I beat myself up for not calling sooner and could hardly wait until 10:00 am.