New York Citi today announced a series of initiatives designed to proactively help potential at-risk borrowers remain current on their payments and ultimately in their homes. Several of these steps build on or expand the industry-leading loss mitigation efforts that Citi has put in place over the past two years.
Citi also recently streamlined its existing loan modification program, which is similar to the FDIC/IndyMac model, to aggressively rework delinquent loans. This program uses a simplified formula to determine an affordable payment as a percentage of the borrower's gross income and then reduces the monthly payment to that amount by one or more of the following: interest rate reduction, extension of term or forgiveness of principal.
Sanjiv Das, CEO of CitiMortgage said, "In today's economic environment, Citi continues to build on its long-standing efforts to develop new ways to help our customers remain in their homes. Since the beginning of 2007, these efforts have helped approximately 370,000 homeowners we service avoid foreclosure on their homes. Under our new Citi Homeownership Assistance program we will preemptively reach out to help homeowners before they become delinquent, which is critical to avoiding the loss of a home and protecting their credit score and future borrowing potential."
Citi Homeowner Assistance to help homeowners avoid foreclosure
Key elements will include:
Citi Homeowner Assistance program builds on legacy of implementing new and innovative best business practices and success
Since early 2007, Citi has helped approximately 370,000 families avoid foreclosure on their homes – representing over $35 billion in total underlying value in loans – through loss mitigation actions and proactive modifications. Citi's comprehensive loss mitigation efforts have kept approximately four distressed borrowers in their homes for every one foreclosure completed in 2008.
These efforts include:
"We're especially appreciative of the national and local community groups we're working with on many fronts to reach distressed homeowners around the country. We believe at-risk borrowers should not have to wait until they are facing potential foreclosure before they become eligible for a loan modification or a foreclosure pause," said Eric Eve, Senior Vice President of Global Community Relations for Citi.
Ken Wade, CEO NeighborWorks America, said, "The new Citi Homeowner Assistance program again demonstrates Citi's leadership on this issue. For NeighborWorks, Citi provides not only funding for our Center for Foreclosure Solutions, through which we reach at-risk borrowers facing foreclosure, but also expert personnel to train and assist community-based organizations that work with at-risk borrowers. I congratulate Citi for this latest, important step forward."
Citi's Mortgage Loan Portfolio
Citi's owned loan portfolio is substantially different from that of some other major lenders. On balance, Citi mortgage originations did not follow the market in aggressively introducing non-traditional products and more aggressive underwriting practices. Citi has not originated negative amortization loans, option ARMs, low FICO interest-only loans or low FICO/high loan-to-value stated income loans in our owned portfolio. Citi has offered limited hybrid ARMs, employing conservative underwriting criteria when originating these products. In addition, as evidence of its commitment to transparency and accountability in its loss mitigation efforts, Citi is alone in the industry in providing an extensive, quarterly data report detailing its efforts in this area.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Citi's major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Citi Smith Barney, Banamex and Nikko. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.