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Chase opening mortgage center

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Chase bank plans to open a "homeownership center" on Long Island later this year so struggling borrowers can get face-to-face counseling on their mortgages.

It's one of 25 such centers to debut this year across the nation.

"We chose locations that are in the hardest hit areas," said Chase spokesman Michael Fusco, who did not have any other details on the Long Island location.

Since 2009, Chase has launched 51 homeownership centers in 15 states and Washington, D.C., with the closest in Flushing.

At the centers, borrowers can drop off applications and supporting documents to get their loan terms changed, from interest rate to principal reduction, or to get advice on preventing foreclosure. Each homeowner is assigned one Chase person to be the contact on the case.

This sort of outreach is aimed at avoiding two big problems encountered by many homeowners struggling to keep their homes. Many complain about repeatedly sending in the same paperwork, only to hear that the bank or loan servicer never got them. Homeowners also complain that they never get the same employee on the phone twice, which forces them to explain their situation from the start and try to get answers from someone who has little clue about the case.

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