20 year-old Aaron Collette is currently serving in Iraq and looking forward to seeing his family. He's been in the Army for a year and half, and recently survived an IED explosion next to his squad. Aaron could vacation anywhere in the world, but he simply wants to come home to Oregon and see his family.
Unfortunately, Aaron might not have a home to return to. His father will lose his home - and the place Aaron calls home when he's not at war - in August.
JPMorgan Chase is foreclosing on Tim Collete's home in Bend, Oregon on June 20th. Tim has asked the bank to hold on foreclosure proceedings until his son, Aaron, is able to return from Iraq for his two weeks of leave time. But so far, they've refused.
"I don't want him thinking about coming home and having it not be there. I just want him to come home and know he can be safe for 15 days," said Tim Collette.
Tim Collette's story is all too familiar. He was told by his bank that he'd only qualify for a loan modification if he missed two of his monthly payments. Once he did that (remember: per the bank's instructions), Chase attempted to foreclose on him. One financial blogger writes, "Like the nightmare scenarios we have heard about, they basically tortured him for a year and ended with turning down his modification request."
Update 6/24/2011: When Tim Collette's story initially broke, Chase responded to the media frenzy by telling reporters they would work with Tim to find a solution. Last week, they informed Tim that the foreclosure is back on. Tim and his family are now scheduled to be foreclosed on August 9th.
- Spokesperson, JP Morgan Chase
I recently learned that JPMorgan Chase will foreclose and auction off a soldier's home in Bend, Oregon on June 20, 2011. I'm writing to ask that your bank stop foreclosure proceedings for Mr. Collette, so that Aaron Collette - an active duty member of the military - has a home to return to when he is released for two weeks of leave time this year.
Your decision to foreclose on the Collette family is reprehensible. U.S. law protects military service men and women from facing foreclosure while on active duty. While Aaron Collette is not the homeowner in this situation, this is his home.
Tim Collette is a responsible homeowner. He made a significant downpayment on his home when he purchased it back in 2006. But in 2008 - in an economic collapse caused by banks like yours - he lost his job. When he called JPMorgan Chase for assistance in restructuring his mortgage payments, he was told he'd have to miss two payments to qualify. Once he did that, the bank began foreclosure proceedings. Ultimately, Chase refused to modify his mortgage.
Your bank has mistakenly foreclosed on at least 27 active military service members. JPMorgan Chase executive Jamie Dimon said of this mistake, "There is no class of citizen that we hold in higher regard...this is the worst [mistake] we've made. We deeply apologize to our veterans ... and we're sorry."
If JPMorgan Chase is serious about making right with America's veterans and their families, you should immediately stop the foreclosure proceedings on Tim Collette and his family. Do the right thing.
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