While many policymakers were still describing the housing crisis as "contained," Molly Sheehan knew better.

The JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive saw the payment shock brewing as a wave of hybrid adjustable mortgages were due to reset at higher rates, and she was determined to get ahead of it. She worked up a loan modification program - before that term was even in wide use - that alerted borrowers to coming rate hikes, gauged their ability to absorb the increases and, if needed, offered to lower rates.

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