NEW YORK With about $95 billion in home-equity loans on its books, JPMorgan Chase & Co., like many other banks, is making credit less available to reduce its risk.
For auto loans, JPMorgan said it has raised the minimum collateral values for extended-term loans in states deemed high-risk Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah and reduced loan-to-value cutoffs in these regions.
And for credit cards, the bank has been lifting the score cutoffs for cardholders targeted for credit line increases and decreasing the credit lines of cardholders deemed risky.
The reason the bank has been paring back its lending is because it expects defaults to increase. JPMorgan in the last quarter of 2007 boosted its reserves by $2.54 billion in anticipation of loan losses in 2008.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, JPMorgan had to write off $248 million of its home-equity loans up from $150 million in home-equity loan charge-offs the third quarter, $98 million in the second quarter and $68 million in the first quarter.