JPMorgan Chase's recent forecast for an unprofitable year in the mortgage business came as a surprise┬Śnot just to Wall Street, but to other lenders.

Describing home loans as "the most painful business ever," JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, speaking at an investor presentation in late February, said that the company would cut another 6,000 jobs this year in its mortgage unit, on top of 11,000 last year.

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