Launching a foreclosure-prevention road show

Chase Bank to offer loan-mod, short-sale information to attendees

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Chase Bank will host multiday foreclosure prevention counseling events in eight markets across the country, the company announced Wednesday.

The events will occur over the next five months and the first one will be held in Chicago from May 13-17. Events for Atlanta and Washington, D.C., will follow in June. Dates for the remaining markets — New York, Northern California, Orlando, Phoenix, and Southern California — have not yet been announced.

Struggling homeowners with Chase mortgages will be able to obtain counseling, including assistance in applying for a loan modification or arranging a short sale. Borrowers can also drop off documents required under a trial loan modification and sign final loan modification documents.

Many of the up to 40 counselors who will participate in the events are based in the 51 Chase Homeownership Centers nationwide, the company said.

"Chase began opening the centers in early 2009 to provide face-to-face counseling to homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgages. The centers are open six days a week, including evening hours," the announcement said.

Chase first hosted similar events in Florida, serving 3,200 customers, the company said. The company reported that more than half of customers spoke to a counselor in less than 10 minutes and 85 percent spoke with one in less than half an hour.

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JPMorgan Chase subsidiaries have modified 43.3 percent of 431,341 loans eligible for loan modification under the federal government’s Making Home Affordable program, according to nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica. Its estimated volume of loans eligible for modification ranks second-highest among large servicers, behind Bank of America.

The news organization gathered Treasury Department data through March 31, 2010, for 22 major mortgage servicers with at least 5,000 loans eligible for the program.

Of the 22 servicers, eight have modified a larger percentage of eligible loans than JPMorgan Chase subsidiaries. Wells Fargo has modified a slightly larger percentage of loans — 43.7 percent of its 378,480 eligible loans — while Bank of America has modified a much smaller percentage — 26.6 percent of its 1,085,894 eligible loans.

In terms of conversions to permanent loan modifications, JPMorgan Chase subsidiaries rank squarely in the middle of the pack of 22 with a 7.3 percent rate. Wells Fargo has modified 7.9 percent of its eligible loans, while Bank of America has modified 3 percent.

JPMorgan Chase subsidiaries have canceled loan mods for an estimated 5.9 percent of total loans eligible for modifications, higher than the 4.7 percent average among large servicers, ProPublica also reported. And an estimated 20 percent of loans eligible for modification remain "in limbo," or have been in a trial mod that extended longer than four months, compared with an average of 11 percent among the largest servicers.

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