JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to expand its mortgage program within the next 90 days to help 400,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure and said it would not put any loans into that process.
The banking company will start a new process to independently review each loan before moving it into the foreclosure process, and will suspend foreclosures while the changes are implemented.
It also plans to introduce new financing alternatives, open regional counseling centers, hire more loan counselors, and offer prequalified modifications to borrowers.
JPMorgan Chase expects the program to help 400,000 families with $70 billion of loans in the next two years. It said that, together with Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual Inc., it has helped 250,000 families with $40 billion of loans since early 2007. The company said that it inherited pay-option adjustable-rate mortgages when it acquired Bear Stearns and Wamu's banking operations, and that it decided to add more modification choices, including interest rate reductions and principal forbearance. JPMorgan Chase said all offers will eliminative negative amortization.