Permanent Chase Modifications Increase As Of Latest HAMP Report–Does This Point To Positive Signs For Homeowners Still Struggling?

Questions over whether permanent home loan modifications from Chase, among other servicers, have been helpful to homeowners has arisen over the past months as a wide number of home loan servicers have been accused of not helping as many homeowners as they possibly could have with modification efforts. However, recent reports from HAMP show that J.P. Morgan Chase saw an increase in the number of permanent home loan modifications they had made for homeowners through the federal modification initiative.

While this report was released in early May, it tracks data for the month of March and, as the case has been with many of these financial institutions, 2011 continues to see increases in these modifications made by major banks. While the report stated that the number of permanent modifications Chase saw between February and March of 2011 rose from 71,657 to 75,973, there are still questions as to how effective this modification plan is and what homeowners must do to qualify.

Homeowners have had numerous complaints throughout the life of the modification program and, particularly in 2010, there were some signs that the federal modification initiative was beginning to slow and home loan modifications made directly from these banks through proprietary plans saw an increase. This has led some to question whether homeowners are either struggling to meet qualifications that are set forth from the federal government or if servicers are simply opting to help homeowners in programs outside of the modification plan. Many of these banks, Chase included, also participate in state-specific mortgage assistance plans and it has been stated that J.P. Morgan Chase in particular is hoped to offer more assistance to unemployed homeowners in the month of May.

However, men and women who are attempting to acquire a federal modification must remember that it can be a complicated process and hardship letters and other documentation are required to meet certain qualifications, so attempting to establish a single point of contact should be a homeowner’s first priority when speaking with their servicer, if the particular financial institution they are working with does not already have such a policy in place. While it has been repeatedly mentioned that housing counselors are also available through the Hope Hotline, homeowners need to realize that even if they seemingly qualify for a modification, this does not mean they will be granted this form of foreclosure prevention.

Yet again, there are alternatives outside of this plan and Chase is not only using permanent modifications to help homeowners but also in-house plans and opportunities available in certain states through the Hardest Hit Fund, but homeowners are advised not to lose hope if a federal modification is unavailable, but for those who stand the best chance at acquiring this particular form of assistance, action should be taken quickly so that all avenues available for a certain homeowner can be reviewed and, potentially, the best route for success selected.