Big Banks are Helping Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure
By: Frank Collins
JP Morgan Chase & Co. back in November stated it is widening its effort to modify home loans in an attempt to limit foreclosures by up to $70 billion in mortgages.
The loan-modification program will also be provided to borrowers who have loans with Washington Mutual and EMC. JP Morgan purchased Washington Mutual in October after the bank became the largest in the country’s history to fail. JP Morgan also bought EMC, which was a mortgage unit of Bear Stearns.
As JP Morgan acquired these two giant lenders, it also received mortgages that included adjustable-rate mortgages with minimum payment options. Option ARMs give borrowers a choice of four payment options every month, like paying less than the interest owed on the loan, thus raising the principal loan balance. JP Morgan claims modifications for Option ARMs would erase the paying less than the interest owed feature and the monthly options. Borrowers will more than likely be offered a fixed rate mortgage.
Option ARMs have been among the worst performing loans dating back to the summer of 2007 as mortgage defaults have surged and the real estate market has accelerated in the wrong direction. Hence the statement from JP Morgan officials, "We are doing this because we think it's the right thing to do."
I also agree it needs to stop as some things cannot just be let to run its course or the damage will be insurmountable. The program helps homeowners who live in their homes and who "demonstrate the ability and wanting to pay". They have also gone so far to say they will modify mortgages with borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments.
They will typically modify the loan to more conservative standards like making it work on a 28/36 debt to income ratio basis. In the past few years lenders were approving loans with up to 60% debt ratios which is absurd. Moving back a decade and beyond, the system worked right and foreclosures or borrowers becoming late were not as rampant.
Additional big banks are following the steps of JP Morgan by offering loan modifications to their customers such as Bank of America which acquired Countrywide and even Wells Fargo which has less risky customers due to their more conservative underwriting approach. Even if borrowers do not have a home loan with large banks they can still be approved for a loan modification program by a company that specializes in debt restructuring and loan modifications.
In addition, when some banks leave the client in the dust by not approving a loan modification or the modification is only for 3 or 5 years, they have other options to rid themselves of a home they cannot afford such as a short sale or a short refinance. Banks need to help homeowners stop foreclosure in order to halt the financial crisis. Many people understand this. Who will make legislation to make this a reality instead of talk while homeowners fall deeper behind.
Frank Collins is a real estate investor and suggest that you find solutions for your late payment dilemma due to an adjustable rate mortgage that will rise soon, loss of income or other hardship. If you are interested in a Stopping Foreclosure, please visit our website www.ApplyLoanModification.com or for a OC Loan Modification Attorney.
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