Alternative home loan assistance from Citigroup to a delinquent homeowners who have been unsuccessful in the Making Home Affordable Program have typically come through proprietary home loan modifications, which is common among many servicers who are assisting homeowners with their current financial troubles and foreclosure prevention efforts. Reports have shown that, overall, the in-house initiatives by many financial institutions have seen more success than federal home loan modification plans, and these alternatives to federal modification programs may be offered if homeowners are unsuccessful in HAMP.
While there have been mixed results in various areas of the modification program, homeowners with Citigroup reportedly, as of the January 2011 Making Home Affordable Report, had a total of 29,145 alternative modifications for homeowners not accepted into a trial modification and 29,609 alternative modifications for homeowners whose trial modification was canceled. These numbers are a decrease from the previous month’s data which had 34,369 total alternative modifications made for homeowners not accepted into a trial modification plan and 33,159 alternative modifications for those whose trial plan was canceled.
Many officials have cited the slow results that have been seen over the past months as one of the main reasons why the modification program should be stopped well before the original termination date, which is in 2012, despite the fact that there have been positive results as well. Homeowners have complained that a variety of servicers are making the modification process difficult and may not be adhering to federal guidelines, but there have been increases in the number of permanent home loan modifications that have been made over the past months, and as a result, homeowners have been able to avoid foreclosure.
While Citigroup was one of the servicers who recently saw increases in the number of permanent modifications they had made, there are still concerns over the fact that the program may be wasteful and could be resulting in some homeowners finding themselves in a worse financial position. Homeowners have stated that they have seen a decrease in their credit score as a result of missed payments and have done a great deal of damage to their savings accounts, both of which are said to be the result of the modification process either taking too long or these homeowners being unable to qualify before they are in a dire situation.
Officials which have called for the repeal of the Making Home Affordable Program have reportedly said that changes to the modification initiative may offer more homeowners the opportunity to avoid the loss of their home, but as there have been changes in the program’s guidelines in the past, many are concerned that new upgrades which may make the process more streamlined and affordable would still not be able to help as many homeowners as had originally been hoped. However, despite the program’s imperfections and problems between homeowners and servicers, the modification plan is still available to help those not only with Citigroup but a variety of other servicers too, but homeowners also may consult housing counselors or the HOPE Hotline for alternative resources to help them through their financial difficulties and the modification process.