Thursday, December 17, 2009

Citigroup: No foreclosures during the holidays

Citigroup is suspending foreclosures for the next 30 days:
Citigroup Inc. will suspend foreclosures and evictions for 30 days in a temporary break for about 4,000 borrowers during the holiday season.

The New York-based bank said Thursday the suspension will run from Friday through Jan. 17. It applies only to borrowers whose loans are owned by Citi. Borrowers who make payments to Citi but whose loans are owned by other investors are out of luck.

"We want our borrowers to have a much less stressful time, to spend their time with their families during the holidays as opposed to worrying about their homes," Sanjiv Das, head of the company's mortgage division, said in an interview.


  1. Ha! What about Citi stock and bondholders? What kind of Christmas are they going to have if Citi throws them under the bus to pay a kindness to its deadbeat borrowers?

    It's profoundly naive to think that Citi is being altruistic to its greedy, lazy, and stupid mortgage-borrowers. Citi just views these people as cows to be milked. This year, some of the cows stopped producing milk, so it's time to slaughter.

    Waiting until 2010 to do so is almost certainly for strategic reasons. They're probably using the season as an excuse to give their foreclosure division a break and regroup to figure out what to do with all these rotten mortgages.
    There might also be tax implications involved. At the very most, Citi wants to avoid the
    bad press that would come with evictions this time of year.

  2. What a bunch of bullshit! Trying to come off as spreading some goodwill. They are merely taking part in the Japanese "extend and pretend" method of dealing with troubled loans with the assistance of the U.S. government. The mark-to-market accounting rules were changed so the banks would not go under. And now they are not foreclosing on homes hoping that a housing recovery will take place so their losses are not as large. Until regulators step in and force write-downs, we will have another lost decade. Now cue up Turning Japanese and enjoy the show!

  3. Merry Christmas to all and to all banks a good-night!!!

  4. I think it's all P.R. No bank (still in business) has had its reputation destroyed as much as Citigroup. It probably costs them little to delay the foreclosures and they get to send out favorable press releases to improve their reputation.

  5. Tangelo Mozilo said...
    Ha! What about Citi stock and bondholders?

    Good grief. That is exactly the kind of narrow-minded, short-term view that got us into this mess.

    1. Citi received bailout money which, unlike healthier banks has not paid it back yet. I don't hear the pitchforkers worrying how this was a handout to "deadbeat" stock and bond holders.

    2. It's believed that home sales may improve after the holidays, as individuals perceive improved stability in their own jobs (employers hiring, etc.). Citi is just making a calculated bet that they can process pending foreclosures better after if they wait.

  6. Wall St. stupidity and excess is part of the behavior associated with the game of making money. But consumers who engage in irresponsible or unethical conduct should be held accountable.

  7. OK, Mark F., I'll sy it: The bailout money was a handout to Citi stock and bondholders. I stop short of calling these people deadbeats because most of them are not the ones making the decision to flake out on the repayment. However, they are stupid for holding Citi stocks and bonds.

    To the extent that you are arguing that the decision to hold foreclosures in abeyance may be beneficial to Citi (and those who hold an interest in Citi) in the long run, I agree with you. My problem is with Citi posturing itself as Santa Claus. I.e., as a publicly held corporation, its first obligation is to its stockholders, and any "gift" that it might give to its mortgage borrowers should (and I suspect is) incidental to that obligation.

  8. "its first obligation is to its stockholders"

    I guess that makes citibank immoral. lol