JPMorgan Chase: We Had So Many Buy-Backs That We Had to Put This Policy in Place

JPMorgan Chase apparently has a new policy that homeowners and their attorneys should know about related to postponing the scheduled dates of trustee sales.

It seems that the giant financial institution screwed up so many times, selling homes they had promised not to sell, and then having to buy them back to fulfill their obligation, that they decided that a new policy was needed to prevent this from happening in the future.  Now, they could have considered policies that would have lead to improved internal operations, perhaps as a result of the left hand knowing what the right hand is up to at any given point in time.  That line of thinking, however, was obviously abandoned, if it was considered at all, in favor of a policy that would lay blame for the problem at the feet of the homeowners.

CHASE now says that their new policy prohibits the postponing of sales, regardless of the reason, if the request to postpone is made within 7 days… or maybe 5 days… or it could be 2 days (depending on who you talk to at CHASE), before the scheduled sale date.

“We had so many buy-backs that we had to put this policy in place,” explained a CHASE employee, speaking with an attorney who was calling to postpone a sale after hearing that his client had just been approved by CHASE for a loan modification.

“It just seems ridiculous,” said the attorney, who asked to remain nameless so as not to damage his relationship with CHASE.  “How can they think it makes sense in today’s environment to refuse delaying the sale of a home, regardless of the reason, based solely on an arbitrary number of days?  What’s the big deal, like they need another foreclosure?”

I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment, it should go without saying, but it’s more than that.  Over and over again, I see clear evidence that the banks and servicers are not in touch with the reality of the situation in which they are embroiled.  As a group, they quite obviously believe that they are doing just fine and therefore free to act as they please.  It’s we the people that are having problems that are totally unrelated to them, and they will try to contend, but frankly are getting a headache.

When dealing with Bank of America, on the other hand, you cannot call to postpone a sale, unless you do so WINTHIN 72 hours of the scheduled date.

What do you suppose Wells Fargo’s policy is?  I don’t know, but this whole issue is so rational and well thought out that I figure it could be that if you want to postpone a sale with them, you have to call twice on the 15th day before the sale, once on the 9th day, and then the day before, you call after 7:00 AM but before 9:00 AM, let it ring twice, hang up, and then do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around… that’s what it’s all about.  This entire subject is completely insane, and anyone who doesn’t see that… well, is a banker.

I have a newsflash for banks and servicers about how the public views what’s going on as related to the foreclosure crisis and the corresponding free fall in housing prices that is causing acute pain to everyone, including most of those working for banks and servicers, although admittedly not those at the very top:

Regardless of what you bankers and servicers think, and regardless of what the letter of the law says is acceptable in terms of attitude or behavior, you are not islands in our society or economy, you will not survive as such, and we expect you to act like you’re citizens of this country, willing to pitch in and lend a hand for the greater good when our nation is under siege.  Do you guys get that at all?

Like, remember the afternoon of 9-11?  Would Bank of America have told people who walked in on that day that the bathroom was for employees only, that they couldn’t let non-employees use the phone?  Did CHASE return checks that day on overdrawn accounts, or report late payments to the credit bureaus?  I would certainly hope not, and I don’t think so.  Banks would have certainly been within their rights to follow the rules on that day, like any other, but they realized, were they to do such things, the people would be shocked and offended.

Well, the foreclosure crisis is much worse that 9-11 in every way.  It has taken more lives, caused more pain, and most certainly will have a much longer lasting impact.  I don’t really mean to compare the two, but I’m not sure what else to do in order to make my point clear.  The President of the United States wants you guys to modify loans when it makes financial sense to do so, he really does.  He can’t make you do anything, I realize, but he’s asked awfully nicely on several occasions, and with good reason.

We’re circling the drain in this country, economically speaking; have you guys at banks and servicers even noticed?  It’s true… almost all of us are not doing well at all.  We look okay, perhaps, and we don’t tell others how totally freaked out we are, but don’t let the façade fool you.  We’re changing too, starting to figure things out, more and more each day.  Most of us now know its been you guys all along, and many, many, many of us are going to remember the way you’ve treated homeowners for a long, long time.

And since it’s not even close to being over, and since you guys at banks and servicers are obviously not changing your attitude… here’s a few things you might want to think about…

Consumer spending is roughly 70% of this country’s economy, so as the television commercial says… if we don’t look good, you don’t look good.  And we’ve got lawyers now.  I know you tried to stop that trend, but you failed.  And the court decisions are going our way more and more every day, have you noticed that?

Frankly, you’re not looking all that good at this point, in fact, if I were a betting man, I’d have to say that whatever it is you think you’re winning, may not be worth having. But, as always, it’s up to you.

Mandelman out.

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