Foreclosure prevention assistance from J.P. Morgan Chase through the home loan modification program has seen numerous homeowners over the past months, with various trial modifications that were started since the beginning of Chase’s participation in HAMP, but there are still issues that homeowners feel need to be addressed so that these trial modifications may be more sustainable over the long run and offer homeowners a chance at acquiring a permanent home loan assistance plan. Yet, many servicers have continued to see problems within the modification program as there are signs that HAMP is beginning to slow, which has many concerned over the potential benefits that may still be gained from this plan.
Homeowners with J.P. Morgan Chase who were offered a trial modification numbered at a cumulative 294,322, with a cumulative number of trial modifications started standing at 233,653, according to the February 2011 Making Home Affordable Program. While more homeowners fell into delinquency with Chase, according to reports from earlier in the year, the number of active trial modifications and permanent modifications for not only J.P. Morgan Chase, but other financial institutions as well, have been quite low compared to the number of trials that have been started over the lifetime of the program.
This is led many to question whether servicers are to blame for low numbers or if the modification program as a whole is simply flawed in its qualifications, which could be the reason that some homeowners are simply finding they cannot meet these payments even when a modification plan has lowered their total monthly obligation. Understandably, there are issues that surround homeowners defaulting once again, after they have been offered a modification plan. Yet, this problem is not confined to J.P. Morgan Chase, but it is also an issue that has been seen in proprietary home loan modifications as well.
While there are certain factors of the federal modification program and the actions of servicers that could be altered to offer a greater number of homeowners a trial or permanent home loan modification, as well as, more sustainability in their mortgage modification payments, factors like financial hardships due to unemployment or negative equity are also seen as one of the main causes that have kept homeowners from benefiting from home loan modifications. Yet, there are also homeowners who complain that servicers have been unhelpful or unresponsive in certain cases when homeowners have attempted to modify their mortgage and avoid foreclosure, which has led to the Treasury Department to propose changes like a single point of contact for homeowners.
However, homeowners also have options from the Making Home Affordable Program and HUD, in the form of housing counselors, that may help these individuals have more success making their way through the modification plan or sustaining their mortgage payments after they have been offered a trial modification plan. While no servicer has been perfect in the implementation of these programs, homeowners who are still struggling to make ends meet are being prompted to contact their servicer and inquire about aid that may be helpful for their particular home loan situation from either HAMP or alternative plans like the Hardest Hit Fund.