Today I got into an argument with a customer service rep at Chase Bank. I’m usually a pretty cool-headed guy, but I hate to hear people lie. And it also aggravates me when people don’t know their job. I was on the phone with Chase because one of their borrowers called us for advice on what to do since Chase had denied her request for a Making Home Affordable loan modification after her work hours were cut drastically, leaving her unable to make her house payment. Chase’s policy is that they will not modify loans where the borrower has equity in the home. And that’s what happened with the homeowner who was calling us for advice. Unfortunately, Chase sometimes tells their borrowers that it’s the MHA program that carries this stipulation.
“Chase said the government program is only for people who owe more than their home is worth,” she said.
“They told you what?” I demanded.
So we called Chase to find out why this woman was told such a blatant untruth.
“Yes sir,” said the customer service rep. “The Obama program doesn’t allow loan modifications if there is equity in the home.”
“No, the government program does not say that,” I said. “Nothing in the MHA guidelines says you can’t get a loan modification if you have equity. That’s Chase’s policy. I’ve dealt with this issue before with your company. Please tell this woman that Chase just doesn’t modify loans if there is equity in the house. ”
I went around in circles for a while with the rep, and finally I told her to either put a manager on the phone, or to tell a manager what I was saying and to come back to us with an answer.
She came back after leaving us on hold for a couple minutes.
“I’m sorry sir, you’re correct. It is a policy of Chase that we only modify loans when the borrower is underwater.”
“Thank you for admitting that,” I said. And I hung up.
I got the homeowner to hear the truth, but I still had to tell her she should put her house up for sale if she can’t get a second job.
So if you’re a Chase borrower trying for a loan modification, and your house is worth more than you owe, forget about it.
- Surprise! Banks help homeowners more (money.cnn.com)