Citigroup will lower the monthly mortgage payments of recently unemployed, delinquent CitiMortgage borrowers to $500 for three months in an initiative the company calls Homeowner Unemployment Assist.
The program is a new component of Citi's Homeowner Assistance program. Borrowers with first mortgages whose loans are owned and serviced by CitiMortgage and who meet certain other criteria are eligible to participate in the new program.
As part of the new program, Citi will remain in contact with customers during the three-month period in an effort to sustain an ongoing dialogue while customers work toward long-term employment solutions, the company says. If the customer is not employed within three months, Citi will work with customers on a case-by-case basis to explore the best solutions for the customer. Those borrowers who do find employment during that period can resume their original monthly payments, or if eligible, receive a long-term loan modification under Citi's streamlined program adopted from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
"Our Homeowner Unemployment Assist program is intended to serve as a bridge toward a longer-term solution, helping homeowners stay in their homes and in their communities while they get their feet back on the ground," comments Sanjiv Das, CEO of CitiMortgage. "The Homeowner Unemployment Assist program is just one of a variety of innovative ways in which Citi is helping distressed borrowers, and also presents anticipated bottom line savings for Citi in the form of reduced credit losses, which is a win-win situation for our shareholders and our mortgage holders."
Citi estimates that thousands of homeowners may be eligible to participate in the Homeowner Unemployment Assist program over the next two years. Following evaluation of initial results, Citi says it will consider expanding the program to include borrowers at earlier stages of delinquency or those who are current on their loans, as appropriate.