The number of active trial home loan modifications that J.P. Morgan Chase has seen within the federal Making Home Affordable Program increased, according to reports released earlier here in June, which have data that has been compiled through April 2011. Currently, homeowners are seeing not only increases in permanent modifications from Chase and other financial institutions, but there are some of these banks which have also seen an increase in the number of trial modifications they have in place. Yet, does this increase in active trial modifications for some translate to more success or potential foreclosure prevention for homeowners or does the number of active trials that are ongoing and have little to do with the success of a particular servicer’s modification efforts?
The active trial modifications J.P. Morgan Chase reported, according to the Treasury Department’s HAMP data, in March there were over 24,000 active trials, but April brought 25,454 from modifications for Chase, which turned out to be an increase of almost 1000 trials reported between the two releases. Yet, some homeowners feel that this data does little by way of providing a positive outlook for homeowners seeking a trial and permanent modification plan due to the fact that some banks have had trouble converting trials to permit modifications.
It was recently reported that J.P. Morgan Chase was selected as one of the servicers who needed substantial improvement as factors like income miscalculations and homeowners being kept in a trial modification period well beyond what is required are just a few aspects of these trials that homeowners have faced over the past months. The Treasury report also went on to mention that the number of aged trials that are currently active with J.P. Morgan Chase were relatively low recently and are about 20% lower than the worst servicer in the program, but the rate at which some of these trials are being converted is one aspect of the program that some officials feel Chase can improve upon.
Obviously, servicers get a poor rating if they have a large percentage of aged trials or a low conversion rate, but despite past problems that many banks have seen in these areas, some are obviously improving in their efforts and these particular parts of the federal modification initiative. While J.P. Morgan Chase is still very active in the modification program, homeowners are understandably frustrated with a variety of servicers when it comes to not finding options through trial or permanent modification plans, but there are some men and women who simply do not qualify for these plans and may face denial for that reason.
It’s hoped that with these reviews more homeowners will be made aware of how their bank is performing and banks will be given greater insight into how they can improve their HAMP efforts in the coming months. It should be known though, homeowners are still able to contest modification decisions by their bank or consult with housing counselors initially, in order to give themselves not only the best opportunity at finding foreclosure prevention aid, but more easily make their way through all of the options that could be available to them.