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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.


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.

Same Chase, different day

April 20, 2010: 8:05 am: Called Chase Customer Service (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Latania. We went through the drill of verifying all contact information, etc. and I asked about the status of my loan modification; she said it would take “30-60” days. This was utter nonsense; I begged for more information and Latania said that as of April 13, 2010, the loan was with Natalia Carrillo in CA; she was “the processor”. I pressed to learn what being with the processor meant and if Natalia was a decision-maker. I’m embarrassed to admit that after confirming the spelling of Natalia’s last name I seriously considered Googling her, redeeming my frequent flyer miles to fly to California, hunt her down and plead my case. But what would I do – intercept her at Starbucks on her morning coffee run? That would definitely not get my loan modified; it was crazy and it had to stop. What could I do for real? 

I realized I’d never called the Chase Home Ownership Center in Media PA after the CCCSDV meeting with Doris B. on January 5, 2010; our phone call to Jason Papa at the Chase Home Ownership Center had been unproductive. Jason Papa had said they couldn’t help because I’d submitted the modification papers directly to Chase; I’d also been told on December 15, 2009 by Roxanne at the Center in Media, PA that they “only helped people who were 31+ days past due, but maybe they were all wrong. After all, Chase had a massive Public Relations campaign surrounding the Chase Home Ownership Centers and their commitment to address the foreclosure crisis and help homeowners in need. Why hadn’t I called again? I needed to call right away. 

What does home equity mean to Chase?

January 28, 2010, 3:45 pm: Jacqueline Ham phoned me. We discussed what it meant to be denied a modification for “too much” equity and how I might get a copy of my denial letters. Jacqueline committed to send a letter recapping the 8/25/09 denial based on: property exceeds guidelines/too much equity. Jacqueline said I should call the Chase Home Ownership Center in Media, PA on March 2, 2010 once I was officially 31 days late and try to schedule a March 3, 2010 appointment rather than wait until 3/18/10 as I’d planned.

I asked her what the guidelines were regarding “too much equity”. Was it a dollar amount or a percentage? Because if I had too much equity in 8/09, why would it be any different now? (If I’d pulled my head out of the sand I might have realized property values were dropping by the minute and my equity could have radically diminished in five months). Was there a number one had to be above or below? She said these were good questions; she would ask and get back to me Tuesday 2/2/10 at the latest with answers. I asked what other Chase loan modification programs there were beyond Obama’s Making Homes Affordable and she said there was only one. She also noted I was still in Loan Review and she asked that it be escalated.

February 2, 2010 9:00 am: Phoned Jacqueline Ham to follow up on our January 28, 2010 conversation and get answers on my denial, the equity formula and the status of my modification request. She was not available. I left a detailed voice mail.

February 4, 2010 9:15 am: Phoned Jacqueline Ham to follow up on our January 28, 2010 conversation and get answers on my denial, the equity formula and the status of my modification request. She was not available. I left a detailed voice mail.

February 5, 2010 8:30 am: Phoned Jacqueline Ham to follow up on our January 28, 2010 conversation and get answers on my denial, the equity formula and the status of my modification request. Her mailbox was full and not accepting messages.

February 5, 2010 11:30 am: Phoned Jacqueline Ham to follow up on our January 28, 2010 conversation and get answers on my denial, the equity formula and the status of my modification request. She was not available. I left a detailed voice mail.

February 6, 2010: Received a letter postmarked January 28, 2010. It was the long sought-after August 25, 2009 denial letter from Washington Mutual. Jacqueline Ham had delivered the goods. It was a form letter, customized with my name, address and account number, with a space left open to accommodate a denial reason. The letter read as follows:

Washington Mutual (FL5-8806)

August 25, 2009

Martha Wright

*** * **

Avalon, NJ *****

Statement of Eligibility for Loan Modification

Account ********** (the “Loan”)

Property Address: *** * ** Avalon NJ ***** (the “Property”)

Dear Mortgagor (s)

Washington Mutual is writing in response to your recent request regarding a loan modification on the above-referenced account through the Making Homes Affordable (MHA) program. After researching your account, we have determined that at this time you do not qualify for a modification under the MHA program or any other program we offer for the following reason(s):

Your property equity exceeds our program guidelines.

If your Loan is current, you may be able to qualify for refinance that may provide you with more favorable terms than you have now. If you are interested in finding more out about that option, please contact us at (866) 888-5935.

If your Loan is delinquent, we may be able to offer alternatives to help avoid the negative impact a possible foreclosure may have on your credit rating, the risk of a deficiency judgment being filed against you, and the possible adverse tax effects of a foreclosure on your Property. If you are interested in discussing these possible alternatives, please contact Customer Care immediately at (866) 926-8937.

Our credit decision was based in whole or in part on information obtained in a report from the consumer reporting agency listed below. The reporting agency played no part in our decision and is unable to supply specific reasons why we have denied credit to you. You have a right to receive a free copy of your report from the reporting agency, if you request it no later than sixty (60) days after you receive this notice. In addition, if you find that any information contained in the report you receive is inaccurate or incomplete, you have the right to dispute the matter with the reporting agency by contacting the agency at the number provided below:


P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19022-2000

(800) 916-8800

FEDERAL ECOA NOTICE* (*Removed for brevity)

If you have any questions, please contact us at the number provided below. At Washington Mutual, we value you as a customer and want to ensure your continued satisfaction.


Imminent Default Department

Washington Mutual

(888) 708-3336

For California customers, …* (*Removed for brevity)

Washington Mutual is attempting to collect a debt, and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

We may report information about your account to credit bureaus. Late payments, missed payments, or other defaults on your account may be reflected in your credit report.

To the extent your original obligation has been discharged, or is subject to an automatic stay of bankruptcy under Title 11 of the United States Code, this notice is for compliance and/or informational purposes only and does not constitute a demand for payment or an attempt to impose personal liability for such obligation.


February 9, 2010 10:45 am: Phoned Jacqueline Ham to follow up on our January 28, 2010 conversation and get answers on my denial, the equity ratios and the status of my modification request. She was not available. I left a detailed voice mail.

February 10, 2010 10:30 am: Phoned Jacqueline Ham to follow up on our January 28, 2010 conversation and get answers on my denial, the equity ratios and the status of my modification request. She was not available. I left a detailed voice mail.

February 12, 2010 8:15 am: Phoned Jacqueline Ham to follow up on our January 28, 2010 conversation and get answers on my denial, the equity formula and the status of my modification request. She was not available. I left a detailed voice mail.

February 12, 2010 10:00 am: Phoned Chase (866) 550-5705 and was advised my loan was still in review. I asked to be transferred to Imminent Default and was disconnected.

February 12, 2010: I received a letter dated February 8, 2010 from Chase Home Finance. The subject line: Issue Still Being Reviewed.

The letter:

Dear Martha Wright:

I am writing in response to your correspondence we received on Monday, December 21, 2009, about a loan modification.

At this time, the matter you brought to our attention is still being reviewed. Please be assured that we will make every effort to provide you with the timeliest response possible.

Chase’s goal is to provide the highest level of quality service to each of our customers. We appreciate your business and value our relationship with you.

If you have any questions in the interim, please contact Jackie Ham (866) 605-9253, extension 4663, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time


Home Lending Executive Office

Was this in reply to my December 16, 2009 letter to Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO JP Morgan Chase, or perhaps my letter of January 15, 2010? I hoped not, because the letter said absolutely nothing.

You Have to Give Chase Credit?!

January 5, 2010, 9:00 am: I kept my appointment with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley in the Camden, NJ office, even though my credit scores were decent (701 Equifax, 706 TransUnion, 732 Experian) and I’d never missed a loan payment, although I was about to…

I needed an advocate to get someone at Chase to actually talk with me.

My counselor, Doris B., was extremely professional during our two hour meeting. She said they usually help individuals complete and submit their paperwork – the same paperwork I had already submitted three times! She told me about the Chase Home Ownership Center in Media, PA – I  told her I had phoned them on December 15, 2009 and they had refused to  speak to me because my mortgage payment was not yet 31 days past due. Doris assured me she would be able to get through to them, and right then proceeded to call her contact Jason Papa at the Chase Home Ownership Center.  Jason Papa also stated that he could offer no help until the 31 day delinquent mark, and further informed us that I had “too much equity” in my home. When pressed to clarify what exactly that meant, his reply was, “programs change all the time,” and, “you are back in for loan review so I cannot help you or comment on your loan.” Jason told us to call Chase (866) 550-5705.

Next, Doris and I called the Chase loan modification line (866) 550-5705. We first spoke with Barb and confirmed all paperwork had been received and was in good order, and then asked to be transferred to the Imminent Default Department.  After 25 minutes on hold, we were disconnected. We called Imminent Default back on (888) 708-3336, and were again put on hold. After 35 minutes we finally had to disconnect because my two-hour appointment was over!

January 10, 2010: Alan J. Heavens “On the House” column in The Philadelphia Inquirer features my plight.

The home Chase Home Lending wants to take

Why won't Chase save my home and modify my loan? $$$$$