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Chasing answers about my Chase loan modification

April 29, 2010, 6:09 pm: Natalia Carrillo Chase Home Finance (800) 848-9380 called. She confirmed receipt of the Year-To-Date P&L and said that pending the financial interview she had everything she needed to turn the loan over to Underwriting. I asked Natalia why I’d been told on April 5, 2010 that my loan was turned over to Underwriting on 3/1/10, and why I’d been told previously it was in Underwriting as of 12/15/09.

Natalia said that before I was with Imminent Default, a separate area working on loans that are not delinquent. Now that Chase had gone through the “process changes” she told me about on April 25, 2010, she “overrode” the account.

I pointed out that if Chase had addressed this loan modification in a timely fashion, I would not be in arrears, and expressed my anger over being strung along for 14-months. Natalia said she really couldn’t comment on that; the file was “just not reviewed” and when April came around it went to Natalia’s department. I protested; Natalia said the only explanation she could offer on behalf of Chase regarding the delay was that the “priority is for people who are behind” and my “file was just not reviewed”.

Natalia went on to say I had to complete the financial interview to determine if I qualified for a repayment plan although typically the interview does not qualify anyone for a payment plan. Once the Chase financial interview was conducted Natalia would get the go-ahead to submit the information straight to Underwriting who would determine if the loan could be modified.

This seemed very convoluted after fourteen months of paperwork and phone calls. It felt very much like a parallel and even less-friendly universe so I again expressed my dissatisfaction and concern. Natalia seemed surprised; she said there were virtually “no notes” in my file about any of the calls and submissions I’d alluded to. The conversation didn’t seem to be going anywhere so I decided to forge ahead and proceed with the financial interview. Natalia stayed on the line as she transferred me to a Loss Mitigation Solicitor and signed off when the Loss Mitigation Solicitor picked up.

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.

Hello Chase, I live here!

March 2, 2010, 3:05 pm:  Phoned Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Nicole who advised I’d been declined on 3/2/10 due to “lack of hardship”. Nicole connected me to Imminent Default where I spoke with Gene. I told him I’d been advised I was declined due to either “lack of hardship” or “too much equity” and I wanted a confirmation and explanation. He put me on hold and returned to tell me Chase was “unable to verify this was my primary residence”, hence the denial.  I asked if I would get a letter regarding the denial and the reason – he said yes. I was stunned – Megan had never questioned my residency; all paperwork submitted (including Federal Income Tax returns) clearly indicates this is my home.

I e-mailed Tannette McCray and copied Doris at CCCSDV; there was no response from Ms. McCray. 

March 3, 2010, 7:45 am:  I called Megan and left a voice mail regarding the denial.

How much equity is “too much” for Chase?

February 12, 2010 3:45 pm: Jacqueline Ham phoned me and advised that loan equity guidelines are based on a percentage and that 30% is the limit for equity. At 30% or even 29% equity, Chase would not modify the loan. She had no status update on my loan modification request and at this point, I had no idea how much equity I had in my home.

February 15, 2010, 9:00 am: I had a follow-up appointment with Doris B. at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley in the Philadelphia, PA office. (It had been rescheduled due to snow) We called Chase and confirmed all paperwork was in hand and learned that Tannette McCray was handling my loan. We got her e-mail: Tannette.x.McCray@jpmchase.com and asked to speak with her but were denied. Doris updated my file and indicated there was little we could do but wait for an answer from Chase; she asked me to e-mail Tannette and keep her in the loop on my correspondence.

February 16, 2010: I e-mailed Tannette McCray and copied Doris at CCCSDV. I fully expected the e-mail to bounce back as non-deliverable, but it didn’t. Nonetheless, there was no response from Ms. McCray.

February 23, 2010 1:00 pm: Phoned Jacqueline Ham to follow-up on the status of my loan modification request. Her outbound message indicated she was out of the office 2/18-2/25/10; her mailbox was full and not accepting messages.

February 23, 2010 1:01 pm: Phoned Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Carrie. My loan modification application was still in review. It was with the underwriter and waiting for a BPO (Broker’s Price Order) aka an appraisal. As of 2/19/10, Chase wanted to pull a credit report on me and needed my date of birth; allegedly they had sent a letter requesting this information. I verbally provided my date of birth. Carrie indicated that Tannette McCray was a “processor” then qualified that by saying “that’s just the coding in the computer”. Carrie did not understand why they were pulling a credit report and asked if I wished to be transferred to an analyst. I said yes and that ideally I’d like to speak with Tannette. She indicated that I could ask to speak with her and transferred me. Immediately a message came on “We’re sorry, we cannot continue to process your call” and disconnected me.

I then e-mailed Tannette McCray and copied Doris at CCCSDV; there was no response from Ms. McCray.

No letter requesting my date of birth was ever received.

February 23, 2010 1:01 pm: Phoned Chase (866) 550-5705 again and spoke with Tony. I reiterated the conversation I’d just had and he said he would transfer me to an analyst. Immediately the same message came on “We’re sorry, but we cannot continue to process your call” and disconnected me.

February 23, 2010 1:05 pm: Phoned Chase (866) 550-5705 yet again and spoke with a different Tony and filled him in on the disconnects and the message. He said he would effect the transfer…and stay on the line until it actually happened. I then spoke with Dwayne who verified he needed my date of birth which I again provided. Dwayne indicated that Chase was going to conduct an “exterior appraisal” and I asked what that meant; he said he thought it was a “drive-by” but he wasn’t certain.

February 25, 2010 8:30 am: Phoned Jacqueline Ham who was to have returned 2/25/10; her mailbox was full and not accepting messages. This was not good. What happened to Jacqueline?

February 25, 2010 9:45 am: Phoned Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Nzube. My file had been assigned to a “decision maker” on 2/11/10. Please allow 30 – 60 days. I said this was not acceptable and asked to be transferred to Imminent Default. He said okay and transferred me. Immediately the message came on “We’re sorry, we cannot continue to process your call” and disconnected me.

February 25, 2010 9:49 am: Phoned Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Kewanna. I went through the drill and told her I needed to be transferred to Imminent Default. Shandaia picked up and told me she was unable to give a status update as the modification was with “Lee Escalation”. She indicated that “someone” would phone me back in 72 business hours. When pressed, she indicated the callback would come from the person handling my loan; I asked if that was Tannette McCray and she said yes. I said I wanted to be sure I understood correctly that Tannette McCray would call me back within 72 business hours with a status update and she said yes.

I also e-mailed Tannette McCray and copied Doris at CCCSDV; there was no response from Ms. McCray.

No phone call from Tannette McCray was ever received.

February 26, 2010, 2:30 pm: Lisa Walsh from Chase Home Finance called, looking for the February payment. I told Lisa I’d been in constant contact with Chase, as recently as the day before at 10:00 am seeking a loan modification. I shared the content of my conversations including the fact that a credit report was being pulled; BPO requested and I was due a call back in 72 business hours. Lisa concurred these notes were in the file and asked when I could pay. I told her I had promised to make a payment by March 5 but it would be a partial. She said not to bother; a partial payment would just sit in a suspense account and would not be applied until received in full and partial payments might be applied to late fees, etc. Lisa told me to call (800) 848-9380 on or after March 1 and request a Financial Interview. That would calculate all money in and out of the house in order to create a payment plan to bring the debt current. I told her a payment plan was not likely as I could not meet the current mortgage payment. She said in the financial interview to be sure to tell them how much I could have paid in the partial payment. She said given my financial situation and the fact I was already in loan review for a modification, I would be denied for a payment plan and then they would try to put me on a trial or “second” modification program. These are the steps I must go through (interview, denial, etc.) If I can make the new payments for 3 months it might become official. I then asked if this course of events was independent of the modification I had already requested and she said yes.

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:

Transunion

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.

Sincerely,

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.

LM001

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

Sincerely,

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.

A New Year but the same old Chase

January 20, 2010, 10:15 am: I phoned Jacqueline Ham in response to the January 12, 2010 letter and left a voice mail.

January 21, 2010, 9:50 am: I phoned Jacqueline Ham again in response to the January 12, 2010 letter; her voice mail was full and not accepting messages.

January 22, 2010, 11:45 am: I phoned Jacqueline Ham in response to the January 12, 2010 letter and left a voice mail.

January 20, 2010, 11:47 am: I phoned Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Mindy who verified all information and advised the loan was currently “under review”; all paperwork was in place. Mindy offered to transfer me to Imminent Default. I said yes, and was put on hold after hearing “Your call will be answered by next available representative. We are experiencing a high call volume…” after 20 minutes on hold I listened to another “this is an attempt to collect a debt” announcement and  then spoke with John who told me that on 12/15/09 the loan was put in underwriting review status. No final decision had been made and at this point it was taking 30-60 days; I should check back once a week. I told him I could not make the February payment and I needed answers. He said he appreciated my honesty but I just needed to wait for an answer.

January 27, 2010, 11:35 am: I phoned Jacqueline Ham in response to the January 12, 2010 letter and left a voice mail.

January 28, 2010, 8:35 am: I phoned Jacqueline Ham in response to the January 12, 2010 letter and left a voice mail.

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? $$$$$