A two-year Chase loan modification odyssey

Jonathan started trying to get a loan modification (then called a loan workout) back in April of 2008.  Even before the official government programs started in 2009, Chase couldn’t get on the ball fast enough and had him resubmit his paperwork because it was out-of-date before they were done reviewing it.

What followed was a two-year odyssey of repeated refiling of paperwork, leaving messages and not being able to get a hold of Chase employees, being told to wait, racking up extra fees, and the constant threat of foreclosure.

I have said this before and I will say it again:  Assuming fraud wasn’t involved, there is nothing wrong with Chase wanting to hold people accountable to the commitments they have made.  What is so troubling is their lack of clear process, clear messages, and the slightest inkling that they know what they are doing.

Chase = repo man

Some of the stories about Chase just seem so bizarre.  Can this really be a large retail bank that has years of experience and millions of customers?  Sometimes, they act like a small operation that just opened its doors yesterday.

The bottom line is that people sometimes fall on hard times and a bank has to decide whether they want to work with them, or just try and screw them out of as much money as they can.  Take for instance this story about a woman that became one month behind on her auto loan.

I put $9000 down on my Yukon 16 months ago. Due to unforseen circumstances I started running a month behind. They started calling me 10+ times a day, even started calling family & friends. I called them on Fiday to make a payment & the phone would just ring. Called at least a dozen times over the weekend Still no one answered.

Seems reasonable, right?  A customer is having a hard time but wants to make good.  But then

Monday I finally get someone & he told me they won’t accept 1 payment they also wanted May’s which just became due 5 days ago. I told him I could only make 1 as I am unemployed. He didn’t care. So I asked for his supervisor & he wouldn’t put anyone else on the phone. He said he will call me Tuesday after 11 to give me more time to get funds. WELL…..woke up Tuesday & My car was GONE

Really Chase?  You’ve got a customer that wants to make good on her loan and is doing the best that she can and you repo the car for being one month behind?  This isn’t the bank I want watching my back.

Woman pays mortgage in full and on time, Chase still tries to foreclose

Wow, this is a big screw up on Chase’s part and shows just how badly Chase screwed up some things when they transitioned WaMu customers over to their bank.  In essence,  the customer had a mortgage with WaMu since 2003 and never missed a payment or was late.  All of a sudden she received a letter in the mail saying they are being foreclosed upon.  WTF?

Turns out that Chase, in response to a small lapse in the homeowners insurance, added an escrow account for insurance onto her loan that added additional payment.  But they somehow forgot to notify her of it. When checks came in, they noticed that the check amount didn’t equal the newly increased due amount, so they put all the payments into a “suspend fund” and the payments were not applied to her mortgage.  Again, they failed to notify her that this was happening.

So many of  the problems with Chase seem to do with their lack of notifying customers of essential information.

Chase loses womans large bank account balance for a year

Ok, this is complete hearsay, but it is such a dramatic story (from this post) it is worth passing on.

When I called my local insurance office and explained what I needed and why, the young women there told me that her grandmother had a LARGE amount of money deposited with CHASE and it was six figures. They LOST her money!! She asked them what happened to it and they told her to prove she had the money with them!! OMG!! She said it took her grandmother an attorney and months to resolve that issue and CHASE finally FOUND her grandmothers money!!

JP Morgan Chase accused of wrong doing in Lehman lawsuit

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, JP Morgan Chase and some of its top executives, including CEO Jamie Dimon, were responsible for siphoning money out of Lehman Brothers just before its collapse, used inside information to do this, and contributed to Lehman Brothers failure.

Chase upgrades your card to upgrade your fees

One Chase customer writes about their experience going from a WaMu credit card to Chase:

Have any other former WaMu credit card holders who had their credit cards converted to Chase VISA Platinums and now within the past few days received notification that Chase has “upgraded” their card to Slate with BLUEPRINT?

If so, did the following also happen.

1.)  Your APR markedly increase?  (8.99% WaMu VISA to 14.99% Chase VISA Platinum to 17.24% (Chase) Slate)

2.)  The schedule of fees go up?  (too many increases to list, but the fees went up across the board)

3.)  The grace period was reduced?  (grace period went from 26 days w/ WaMu to 24 days on Chase VISA Platinum to 21 days on Slate)

More evidence that Chase’s e-banking features simply don’t work

Another complaint related to Chase’s electronic banking features:

I made the account auto pay in Dec/2009 was hospitalized Jan checked acct Feb/2010 found it unpaid caught it up.

Again made it auto pay in Feb/2010 (via internet only option) again received a success notice upon completion. Started a new job continued recovery lost track of my life, received no notices from Chase that there was any problem, no e-mail, no phone calls and no mail.

After finishing my teaching job checked acct and found it was 60 days late. Upon calling company was told my acct had been closed and reported to credit reporting my only option was to make payments, nothing else could be done. This after paying it with all the penalties plus being a good customer for 5 years, paying card off multiple times and very seldom carrying a large balance.

These are pretty basic things.  To have them fail like this repeatedly would give me zero confidence in anything Chase does related to e-banking.

Roadmap of a Chase short-sale

For nine months and three buyers Lauren Moughon tried to close a short sale on her house in Washington.  She had to give them the same documents over and over again.  Finally she called the local TV news station consumer advocate, who called Chase, and they immediately pulled their head out of wherever it was and closed the deal.

Is that really the only thing that will make Chase respond?

WordPress Themes