FINSwire Jun 14 2011

Former Home Lending Head to Leave JPMorgan

By david benoit

JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s former head of the home lending business, Dave Lowman, is out of the bank, according to an internal memo, only four months after another executive was promoted over him as the top executive in the mortgage operations.

JPMorgan is the third-largest mortgage servicer in the country, and has battled problems in home lending like all its peers. In February, in the midst of slow progress in working through problem loans, and on the heels of an embarrassing disclosure it foreclosed on active-duty military members -- a disclosure since shared by peers -- the New York bank moved noted problem-solver Frank Bisignano into the top mortgage job.

At that time, Bisignano, who is also chief administrative officer, had said he would look at the business "from start to finish" to make sure he got it right.

In a brief memo Tuesday, Bisignano said he and Lowman made the decision and that Lowman will "take some much needed time off." Bisignano also thanked Lowman for workings "during extraordinary times" and wished him well.

Chief executive Jamie Dimon has faced regular questioning about progress in the mortgage business, and the bank is involved in the discussions with 50 state attorneys general to settle a foreclosure probe. Dimon has apologized multiple times for the military foreclosures and at the bank's annual meeting this year directed several home owners to a bank executive to see if their problems could be solved.

The bank already received a consent order from federal regulators on its servicing unit, as did 14 of its peers. The date to meet the conditions of those consent orders, which JPMorgan has said would require hiring 3,000 additional employees, was extended by 30 days on Monday.

Lowman's departure was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.

David Benoit is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, where this story originally appeared. Write to him here.



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