Citi Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit has announced a foreclosure suspension program for CitiMortgage-owned mortgages in coastal areas hard-hit by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The aim of this program is to allow distressed homeowners to remain in their homes during these uncertain times as the Gulf communities respond to the oil spill and its economic repercussions. During the three-month suspension, effective June 17-Sept. 17, 2010, borrowers with first mortgage loans owned by CitiMortgage and who meet certain other criteria will not be subject to foreclosure sales or foreclosure notifications. While CitiMortgage does not own all of the loans it services, the company hopes to help as many borrowers as possible with this initiative.
"By putting CitiMortgage foreclosures on hold, we aim to ease the burden on residents of the Gulf states so they can concentrate on the most urgent matters facing them," said Pandit. "In the midst of this crisis, we will continue to explore ways to help people avoid foreclosure so they and their families can remain in their homes and have one less thing to worry about."
"We hope that with this suspension we can help ease some of the financial stress for our customers in the affected Gulf region," said Sanjiv Das, president and chief executive officer of CitiMortgage. "Many of them are facing financial hardship as a result of the spill, and we want to help support them during this very unsettling time."
CitiMortgage's Gulf region foreclosure suspension affects only those loans it owns in the region. Under the program, CitiMortgage will halt all foreclosure sales on first mortgage accounts in highly impacted coastal areas through September 16th. In addition, evictions on real-estate owned (REO) properties will cease during this time. CitiMortgage borrowers occupying residences in zip codes within approximately 25 miles of affected coastal areas will be eligible for the program.
"CitiFinancial remains committed to working closely with customers, community leaders, business partners, the government and other stakeholders to address the national housing situation," said Mary McDowell, president and CEO of CitiFinancial North America. "We are also especially concerned about our customers in the Gulf region that are affected by the oil spill, and we want to do what we can to help them. Because we have an on-the-ground presence in the Gulf communities where we operate, we can work closely with customers individually to help provide solutions if they are having difficulty making their mortgage payments."
Citi has a number of programs in place to help homeowners in financial distress. Citi's existing Homeowner Assistance Program is a multi-faceted foreclosure prevention initiative that has helped more than 900,000 homeowners in their efforts to avoid potential foreclosure and remain in their homes since the housing crisis began in 2007. Citi currently makes strenuous attempts to establish contact with distressed borrowers and help them avoid foreclosure. The company does not initiate or complete a foreclosure sale on any eligible borrower when the following criteria are met: CitiMortgage owns the mortgage; the borrower is seeking to stay in the home, which is his or her primary residence; the borrower is working in good faith with Citi; and, the borrower has sufficient income for affordable mortgage payments.
For more information, visit www.citigroup.com.