By February 17, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

JP Morgan Chase Boosts VA Mortgage Protections for Military Service Members

JP Morgan Chase seems to have learned a lesson.

The mortgage behemoth recently announced it will boost protections for service members in the coming months, on the heels of revelations that the company repeatedly violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The law protects active duty military members from foreclosure, high interest rates and other civil and financial obligations.

An NBC News investigation last month discovered that Chase had overcharged thousands of military borrowers and foreclosed on 14, flouting black-and-white provisions of the SCRA. Company officials admitted to the mistakes and promptly apologized. Now they’ve gone a step further.

Beginning April 1, Chase will lower interest rates to 4 percent for eligible borrowers, a 2-percent drop from the mandatory cap. The 4-percent ceiling will remain in place for a year after. The company is also vowing to suspend foreclosures on deployed service members. Further, those who are somehow foreclosed upon improperly will have the sale rescinded and their mortgage debt erased.

The new benefits will extend to veterans, too. Military members who served on active duty since Sept. 11, 2011, will be eligible for a mortgage modification, depending on their unique financial status.

Beyond that, Chase plans to donate 1,000 homes to service members during the next five years. Company officials also pledged to increase its efforts to hire and train veterans.

“We will continue to monitor vigilantly how we serve military and veteran customers and will not be satisfied until we are 100 percent convinced that we are doing the right thing in every case,” Charlie Scharf, CEO of Chase’s Retail Financial Services, said in a news release. “We understand we have breached the trust of some of our military customers and we know we need to work hard to earn it back, and we are deeply committed to doing that. We want to work with the military community as partners going forward to become the best company in any industry to serve our military heroes.”

Military borrowers can also contact Chase through a dedicated hotline or website. The military mortgage hotline is 877-469-0110. Borrowers can also visit www.chasemilitary.com.


About the author: Chris Birk writes about real estate and the mortgage industry for a host of sites and publications, from Lenderama and Bigger Pockets to the Huffington Post and Motley Fool. A former newspaper and magazine writer, he is also content director for a leading VA lender. Follow him on Google+.

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