Chase Bank branch at the Chrysler Building

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Submitted by a Chase Mortgage Holder (LoanSafe.org) – Hello all,

I am not one to normally post my thoughts or opinions online but after our successful modification, I thought I should do my part and share the experience.

Everyone, I mean everyone has suffered in some aspect due to the economy. My wife and I are hardworking individuals providing for a family of four. In 2006 we purchased land and built our new home, which we saved an incredible amount of money and built what we wanted for $300,000 not what a builder wanted for $500,000.00. Because we were able to do this, not only were we $200,000.00 a head of the game, today we still owe less than the appraised value.  If you do your research instead of falling in love with that shiny new object that you can’t live without, you will save money. This is where most failed and have either foreclosed or bankrupted.  When the economy reared its ugly head in my industry we knew it was time to revisit our monthly nut and shave off any unwarranted expenses.

A little side note here…for those of you that went out and bit off more than you can chew, you should stop reading now and enroll in a financial counseling program.  The people I am referring to are the folks that somehow believed their new home they paid top retail price for in 2007/2008 was going to gain value.  Really?  Or the other folks that took 2nd mortgages to buy cars, boats, and just plain uneducated purchases like TV’s in vehicle head rests and no one in the  backseat to watch, shiny new rims for your ridiculous Hummer to compete with the Jones’, again, really?  These people shouldn’t own homes.

In 2006 business was good; in 2008 it started to deteriorate and monthly payments were about to become a lotto of who gets paid this month.  This is when we fell 30 days behind.  We contacted Chase and asked about a re-fi or whatever was available.  The loan officer mentioned the Home Modification Program (HAMP) and thought we’d be eligible.  We filled out form after form and faxed, emailed, and mailed all the required information.  You must document all the correspondence you have with your servicer.  About 3 months into this process we were skeptical as we hadn’t heard a word from Chase.  We would call and no one had a clue, it was actually comical. Then we received a modification to our payment while they researched options.  Great they took our $2500.00 a month payment and reduced it to $1600.00 per month!  This went on for 18 months.  In the interim, wondering what the final outcome would be, we called, we faxed, and we did everything to find answers.  It was kind of like the service after the sale scenario…there was none and we were officially in “limbo”.

About a year into this mess Chase sent us a denial letter.  Again, we called and tried to get answers.  They claimed that we didn’t provide the proper documentation. But we were able to prove otherwise.  Chase then changed their tune and said we didn’t qualify for the HAMP program but would likely be a good fit for the Alt Mod (Chase mod).  So begins the paperwork nightmare once again.  We documented everything we sent and had certified mail receipts as well.  This is crazy; the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing.

We filled out the “Alt-mod” paperwork and heard nothing for a few months.  On September 1, (2010) we received a packet from Chase with new loan documents and payment terms and duration.  Basically, Chase lowered our fixed rate of 6.25% on a 30 year mortgage and adjusted the new rate to 2% extending our loan to a 40 year.  This was great and no mention of back payment for the difference in 18 months of reduced payments. We signed and sent back immediately via certified mail.

On September 15,  Chase sends us a notice that our loan is being sold..what??  What is this going to do to our mod that we just spent 18 months of hell trying to resolve.  This letter shot holes in our hopes of securing our new financing.  So for two weeks we wondered what the outcome would be…

On September 30, Chase sent us a notice to disregard the letter from September 15 and they weren’t selling our loan and to continue payments to Chase.  Again, ???

The following day we received the final documents from Chase informing us that our Alt Mod was approved/complete and they sent us back a new signed deed of trust with the 2% terms 40 year loan.  Wow, this journey has finally ended.  My wife and I hugged, cried and laughed upon our celebration.  We don’t owe any back payments, new payments aren’t due until Jan 2011, and our payment is the best gift of all.

Again, the reason I am sharing my experience is because I know what it is like to experience the emotional roller coaster in an uncertain economy.  What’s going to happen to our family home? How will we make it through these tough times?  What do I tell the kids?  Did I fail?

Please don’t lose hope…try and do your part before walking away.  This will not only ruin your credit (if you care at this point) and lower the values even further in the real estate market.  The more you do now, the less time you’ll spend renting.  Good luck.

In my opinion of why Chase approved our modification:

•       We owed less than the appraised value
•       Not a lot of debt
•       Documented everything
•       Persistence

Read more or join the discussion in the forum

Moe Bedard
My name is Maurice "Moe" Bedard. I am the founder of America's #1 Mortgage Forum, LoanSafe.org. My online work has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, Fox Business, and many other media publications.