Meredith Whitney & Jamie Dimon on principal forbearance in the JPMorgan Chase earnings call PLUS Are JPMC, BofA, Citi taking kickbacks for second liens on short sales?! & HAMP/MHA assisted a whopping 7% of those eligible last year..
Update: Short Sale Kickback video added
Vodpod videos no longer available.
In other great news, Diana Olick is breaking a HUGE story now on CNBC that the big servicers, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citi have demanded off-HUD, off ClosingStmt payments to release second liens they hold in short sales (against RESPA law).
Treasury told Diana they were unaware of this and will look into it. Good grief. and they wonder why the servicers dont want to do mods? THEY ARE GETTING KICKBACKS ON SHORT SALES! Plus they get an INCENTIVE PAYMENT to do short sales from Treasury (we the taxpayers) now. My Lord this is unreal.
Again this is the fault of the WH and Treasury. Treasury actually RAISED the cap on the ‘incentive fees’ the servicers can earn by doing their damn job as servicers today to 35 billion. Banks will do exactly what they can and no more. Sheila Bair at FDIC is the only one moving on principal forbearance, as usual she is ahead of the curve.
Plus the AP isn’t buying the BS spin anymore in its reporting of the much vaunted numbers Treasury is spinning today on their newly permanent mods (which they told the servicers to waive documentation for to achieve, the only thing the trial mods can be disqualified for now is ‘property’ disqualification, nice eh?):
The Obama administration’s mortgage relief plan provided help to only 7 percent of borrowers who signed up last year, another black mark for the struggling program.
Ouch that’ll leave a mark.
About 900,000 borrowers have enrolled in the $75 billion program since it launched in March, the Treasury Department said Friday. But as of last month, only about 66,500 homeowners had received permanent relief. Another 46,000 have been approved and should be finalized soon.The plan aims to make borrowers’ mortgages more affordable by reducing the mortgage interest rate to as low as 2 percent. They receive temporary modifications, which are supposed to become permanent after borrowers make three payments on time and complete necessary paperwork, including proof of income and a letter explaining the reason for their financial hardship.
The Treasury Department is pressing the 102 mortgage companies that are participating in the program to do a better job….
This is a great back and forth. I think we can confirm Treasury is doing exactly JACK SHXT about meaningful mods after hearing this discussion, so much for Obama being tough on those fat cats:
Here is an exchange between Meredith Whitney and Jamie Dimon on the JPMorgan conference call this morning (ht Brian):
Whitney: [W]e’re reaching a critical point in terms of all of the loan modification efforts and this is an industry question but then how it specifically affects your Company, given the fact that the industry feedback and statistics on the loan modification efforts are not good, so you question what’s the next initiative and the issue of principal forbearance. How much momentum do you think that has, can you comment on what stage we are in terms of obviously the extension ends [soon] with the last slug is over in February, so where do you think we are in terms of the government’s efforts to influence banks to do certain things?
Dimon: Well remember we do modifications of our own and we do the government modifications and I do think they’re kind of new, it was complex, and I think people will get better at it over time, Meredith. We have not thought of a better way to do it than loan by loan, which is does the person want to live there, can they afford to live there, and we really think that the payment, how much you’re paying is more important than principal. Even if you are going to do something on principal, to do it right you have to do it loan by loan and it effectively comes a similar kind of thing. The difficulty is the loan by loan part and we’ve asked the government and I think they tried to streamline a little bit to have programs because there’s too much paperwork involved in it so a lot of the reasons we’re not getting to final modifications half the time we don’t finish the paperwork, so they need the lower payments but they weren’t finishing the paperwork so we’re trying to get better at it, honestly, we rack our brains to figure out if there’s a better way to do it and you can do it more macro than loan by loan but once you start talking about macro, you’re going to get involved in a lot of issues about whether the people live there, whether they have the ability to pay, whether they were honest when they first told people how much their incomes were, so we’re working through it.
Whitney: Okay, do you get a sense that there’s something right behind HAMP, that there’s another solution for the government or is it more your efforts?
Dimon: We’re trying to do this, look, we’re trying to have ideas and they are trying to have ideas but if we had a brilliant one we would be very supportive of doing it. We want to do the right thing for the people.
Whitney: Okay, so a point of clarification on your answer, issue of principal forbearance is not something that people should be overly concerned about with respect to reserves and capital for the bank?
Dimon: No, I think if there’s a macro government force on something like that you could have a fairly significant effect on loan loss reserves and losses, etc.
Whitney: But is that a real, any momentum?
Dimon: Honestly Meredith you probably know as well as we do.
Whitney: I don’t know. I can’t help myself on that one.
Neither can we!