Reports here in September, which track data on J.P. Morgan Chase’s participation in the Making Home Affordable Program through July, have shown that there have been some changes in the number of active trial modifications that are currently in place, as well as trial offers that were extended to homeowners. Obviously, certain financial institutions that service these home loans have had trouble when it comes to transitioning homeowners from trial to a permanent modification status, and homeowners do continue to complain that the application process for a federal modification is still an issue, there are some positive results being seen by banks who are offering these federal assistance opportunities to homeowners in need.
Yet, this is not to say that the modification program or any servicer has been perfect when it comes to allowing homeowners these foreclosure prevention opportunities, as Chase saw a decrease in the number of active trial modifications between June and July from 20,708 to 19,742. Yet, during this same timeframe, the cumulative number of trial plans that were extended to homeowners increased from a little over 316,000 to 320,747 and the cumulative number of trials that were started by Chase during this timeframe also increased from 256,562 to 261,188.
This Treasury Department data has shown that continued efforts are being made in the area of permanent modifications, and in some areas there are also improvements in a number of the trial modifications, but there is still a great deal of room to grow when it comes to servicers offering the best foreclosure prevention options to homeowners. While there are still issues related to unemployment that are leading many homeowners to pursue these modification plans, in some cases homeowners simply will not benefit from or qualify for these federal modification initiatives.
While J.P. Morgan Chase is one of the servicers that participates in extension programs that can help homeowners in a variety of ways, particularly in areas like unemployment through the Home Affordable Unemployment Program, Chase is also one the servicers that requires substantial improvement according to the Treasury Department ratings. Some servicers are said to be in need of moderate improvement, but there are still banks that are in a position where they can better streamline the modification efforts to help a wider number of homeowners, as there are still errors when it comes to calculating a homeowner’s income, payment data discrepancies, or other practices that could be used to may make the program more efficient.
Again, not all homeowners may qualify for a modification, but there are still trial modification programs available for homeowners who qualify and, as servicers continue to work on improving these modification efforts within their organization, it’s hoped that more individuals are going to be able to find the affordability they need so that they can stay afloat during times where the economy and job market are still quite weak. While Chase representatives can be consulted by homeowners, individuals with a variety of servicers have also been able to take advantage of housing counselors to help them better understand what will be required on their part when pursuing a home loan modification so that they may stand a better chance when it comes to submitting paperwork and making their way successfully through the MHA modification program.