J.P. Morgan Chase Trial Home Loan Modifications–Are Homeowners Still Seeing Benefits From HAMP Program?

J.P. Morgan Chase and other mortgage servicers have seen ups and downs in the number of trial modifications through the Making Home Affordable Program, and since many officials and homeowners feel that troubles are still present within this foreclosure prevention program, there are questions asked as to whether homeowners are still benefiting from these trial modifications and if more permanent home loan modifications are being seen.

Numerous servicers have seen increases in permanent modifications, but these assistance plans have begun to slow and, for many, trial modifications have been difficult to acquire and sustain to a point where a permanent modification is granted. While J.P. Morgan Chase is one of the mortgage of servicers who did see an increase in the number of permanent home loan modifications they had made according to the most recent Making Home Affordable reports, the number of trial modifications for Chase, and the Making Home Affordable Program overall, decreased.

According to the December 2010 HAMP report, Chase had 20,799 active trial modifications, but the January 2011 report indicated that there were only 20,602. While some of these plans may have moved into a permanent modification status, there are still a low number of increases in these trial modifications across the board, which many officials and homeowners feel need to be addressed. While the December 2010 report also indicated that Chase had started a total of 222,582 trial modifications, that cumulative number in the January 2011 report stated that there were 227,512 from modifications that had begun within Chase’s modification efforts.

There are homeowners and governmental officials who believe that the program needs to be restructured or terminated as it has been problematic for homeowners in certain cases. Some examples of difficulties that homeowners have faced are lost paperwork, unreasonable requirements for homeowners in terms of payments on a trial modification, or the simple inability of homeowners to maintain modifications payment levels in certain conditions. While there have been alternatives for homeowners, there is still focus on trial modifications within the Making Home Affordable Program, as some feel these modification efforts have slowed substantially.

Alternative modifications and state-specific mortgage assistance programs, like those from the Hardest Hit Fund are still in place, but there are concerns that even these forms of aid are simply unhelpful due to either servicer practices or programs not being structured in a way to address particular issues that homeowners are facing. Reportedly, votes on whether to terminate the home loan modification program will take place this week in Congress, but there are some frustrated homeowners who are simply asking that more alternatives be offered or servicers and governmental officials restructure the program in a way that will allow them affordability on their mortgage payment until they can gain a more financially stable ground.