Citigroup homeowners who have had difficulties related to mortgage payment obligations, which mostly stem from unemployment and underwater mortgages for a variety of mortgage servicers, have been able to take advantage of the home loan modification program from both the federal Making Home Affordable plan and proprietary modifications available directly from mortgage servicers. However, data that has been tracked within the federal Making Home Affordable Program has led many to conclude that some homeowners have been unable to take advantage of this foreclosure prevention assistance plan in a way that would have maximized the number of foreclosures prevented.
While Citigroup does still offer federal home loan modifications, there are concerns over whether the program has begun to lose steam in general. Yet, data that has been collected for various servicers has compiled the total number of trial and permanent home loan modifications that were both started and are still currently active for these various financial institutions. According to the Making Home Affordable report, Citigroup had initially started 128,016 trial modifications and 46,205 permanent modifications within this federal modification initiative.
Yet, the number of active trial modifications there are in place as of December 31 stand at 7,415 while active permanent modifications are at 42,746. Understandably, not all homeowners may qualify for a federal modification plan, but there are arguments that more individuals could have benefited from this foreclosure prevention effort but due to deficiencies in the program, on the part of servicers, and in some cases due to error on the part of homeowners, there has not been as much success as was initially hoped.
However, homeowners in need of a home loan modification may still contact their servicer directly to inquire about qualifications or modification process, but there are many who feel that consulting a housing counselor may offer a better option for homeowners to receive the assistance they need. While housing counselors are not a guarantee when it comes to homeowners receiving a modification assistance plan, there are some indications that homeowners who work with a reputable housing counselor approved by either sources like HUD or the Making Home Affordable Program may have a higher likelihood of seeing success.
Foreclosure and mortgage payment difficulties are still issues that homeowners face and want addressed, but despite criticism of services like Citigroup, there are still opportunities available for homeowners to not only receive a home loan modification, but take advantage of extension programs to address issues like underwater mortgages or unemployment, and for homeowners who face the inevitable loss of their home, there are also alternatives which may allow homeowners to surrender their home without facing a formal foreclosure process.