JPMorgan, BofA Strain for Qualified Staff to Clear Foreclosures

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. told regulators they were straining last year to hire and keep enough qualified people who could clear a backlog of foreclosure complaints.

JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, vowed to expand training after its review found that the mortgage-servicing unit “struggled to absorb rapid staffing growth and, in many cases, hired representatives with little or no home lending industry experience.” Bank of America, ranked second, said compliance operations were understaffed as of midyear 2011 and that some people lacked the skills or stature needed to do their jobs.

The assessments, released yesterday by the Federal Reserve, were contained in action plans submitted after U.S. banks were ordered last April to clean up foreclosures and mortgage servicing. The order followed a deluge of borrower complaints about lost paperwork, broken promises and missed deadlines that cost some of them their homes. The accord compels the 14 largest servicers to repay homeowners for any losses tied to the errors.

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