JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said Thursday that it has fulfilled its commitment under the national mortgage settlement to refinance borrowers and provide consumer relief in California and Florida.
In its quarterly progress report to Joseph Smith, the independent monitor assigned to oversee the $25 billion settlement, Chase said it refinanced more than 12,000 underwater borrowers who are current on their loans but owe more than the value of their homes, completing its $500 million refinancing commitment. Chase also agreed to provide $1.95 billion to consumers in California and $1 billion in Florida, which fulfills separate but related settlement agreements signed with attorneys general in those states.
The national mortgage settlement stems from allegations that the nation's five-largest mortgage servicers abused delinquent borrowers by rushing through foreclosure documents. Under the deal signed with 49 state attorneys general, Chase, Bank of America (BAC). Citigroup (NYSE:C), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Ally Financial have three years to provide $25 billion of relief to borrowers in the form of principal reductions, short sales, second-lien forgiveness and refinancings.
The banks are supposed to provide a combined $17 billion in "soft money" payments toward principal forgiveness of first and second liens, short sales and $3 billion in refinancings. The remaining $5 billion of the settlement came in the form of cash payments to the states.
Mortgage servicers have two years to meet 75% of their goals that give them credits toward the settlement, and all are moving quickly to complete the process to avoid facing steep fines. They have another year to meet the remaining 25% of their obligations.
Frank Bisignano, co-chief operating officer and chief executive of Chase Mortgage Banking, said Thursday the bank has offered a total of $7 billion in relief so far to struggling homeowners.
"In just over six months, Chase has helped 75,000 mortgage customers and offered relief to more than 40,000 individuals and families so they can stay in their homes," Bisignano said in a statement.
The bank said it expects to complete its obligations under the settlement well before the deadline.
On Wednesday, Bank of America (BAC) said it expects to meet all its financial obligations by the end of February.
Smith, the settlement's monitor, will detail the progress of all the other servicers in a report Monday.
Chase has approved or completed $3 billion in first-lien modifications for nearly 30,000 defaulted borrowers through Sept. 30, a significant increase from the $367 million in first-lien mods completed in the four-month period that ended in June. Borrowers who received principal reductions got an average writedown of $97,000 on their loans.
Chase also said it has implemented all 320 servicing standards required under the settlement. It did not provide a breakdown of short-sale activities.