Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and avowed supporter of the American economy, said today that he thinks investigations into an enormously lazy and gummed-up foreclosure-paperwork system may hamper the housing recovery.
“It may slow it down,” Dimon said. He told Reuters he hopes that the current joint investigation by all 50 state attorneys general will only temporarily hold up the housing market. In any case, the problem appears to be getting bigger. Dimon said Wednesday during JPMorgan’s third-quarter earnings conference call that his employees were going over 115,000 foreclosure files in hopes of finding errant affidavits and rectifying the problem. By contrast, the end of September, JPMorgan said it was reviewing 50,000 documents to make sure they were filed properly.
It’s unclear whether the move will be enough to remedy the situation in light of reports that JPMorgan Chase hired staggeringly underqualified people, dubbed them “mortgage experts,” and had them dutifully (and fraudulently) sign off on untold thousands of foreclosure documents. Nevertheless, Dimon said additional costs to his company related to legal trouble in the foreclosure business will be minor.