JP Morgan Chase Tries To Make Up For Wrongful Military Foreclosure Mess

In the wake of a widespread mortgage fiasco that left many of our deployed servicemen women facing mortgage overcharges and wrongful foreclosures, JPMorgan Chase is working on corrective action.

The Associated Press (AP) reports that JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced its new programs, which are focused on the military and veterans, said The Associated Press (AP). The banking giant also issued an apology for overcharging active-duty service members and for processing <"">wrongful military foreclosures.

The steps include a program that involves ensuring specific military personnel are eligible for reduced-rate mortgages, improving its mortgage modification program for service members experiencing issues making mortgage payments, and a promise to ensure that active personnel are not foreclosed upon while on active duty, said the AP. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO described this and other steps as “a start, but in no way a finish” to the bank’s recent military mortgage mess, reported the AP.

“This company has a great history of honoring military and veterans, and the mistakes we made on military foreclosures are a painful aberration on that track record,” Dimon said in a news release, quoted the AP. “We deeply apologize to our military customers and their families for these mistakes. We cannot undo them, but we can take accountability for them, fix them, and learn from them,” Dimon added.

JPMorgan Chase admitted to its mistakes last month as well as to breaking a law limiting fees and interest charged to those service members on active duty, said the AP, explaining that active duty members are not allowed to be charged more than six percent for most debts incurred prior to deployment; foreclosures cannot take place until they return from active duty.

Holly Petraeus, who heads the Office of Service Member Affairs, part of the government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is responsible to ensure military personnel are protected from “financial tricks and traps,” said the AP. Petraeus wrote to the CEOs of the 25 largest mortgage banks to ensure their staff understands the protections in place to protect the military, said the AP.

JPMorgan Chase said that, as part of its corrective actions, it will be issuing a mortgage rate reduction program, effective April 1; a loan modification program, also effective in April; and a home owner assistance program, that also involves a home donation program and the opening of five homeownership service centers near some military bases, said the AP.

In the fall of 2010, JP Morgan was among a number of other financial entities that suspended some aspects of their foreclosure processes when irregularities in how court documents were prepared was discovered. The disclosures prompted attorneys general in all 50 states to launch an investigation of the banks’ practices. The FBI was also reportedly taking a look at the foreclosure mess. Investigations currently underway could uncover criminal misconduct or large-scale errors that force foreclosures to be put on hold for an extended time frames.

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