Chase Helps Unemployed Michigan Homeowners

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DETROIT (AP) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Stock Quote: JPM) said Monday it will help unemployed Michigan borrowers by participating in a fund set up by the state to pay a portion of the residents' mortgage payments for up to a year.

Michigan's Hardest Hit fund helps qualified borrowers by paying up to half of their mortgage payments for up to 12 months, saving them thousands of dollars.

The help will be available for Chase customers who are behind on their mortgage payments as well as those who are current. Chase said it will roll out the program once the Michigan State Housing Development Authority has all the logistics in place.

When a homeowner calls Chase, a counselor will ask basic eligibility questions and then send an application package to the homeowner by overnight delivery. If the application is approved, payment help will begin.

For example, a borrower who has been making a $1,400 monthly payment for principal, interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance may be eligible to pay only $700 per month, with the state paying the difference.

Michigan's unemployment rate totaled about 13.1% in August. The state had the nation's highest unemployment rate until May when it was surpassed by Nevada.

The bank said it operates face-to-face loan counseling centers in Detroit and Troy, has sent counselors to 36 local outreach events and offered more than 900,000 mortgage modifications to struggling homeowners nationwide.

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