Citigroup homeowners who are potentially facing foreclosure due to economic hardships or personal financial distress have more commonly turned to traditional home loan modifications over the past months as many scramble to acquire a trial plan that will offer them a reduced mortgage payment and more affordability on their home loan. However, when it comes to getting a trial mortgage modification, the Making Home Affordable Program and its servicers like Citigroup had been blamed for a great deal of trouble that homeowners have faced and what many believe to be lackluster performances in the area of loss mitigation.
Also, there have been some homeowners who are angered over the number of cancellations in the trial modification program, the difficulty of the application process, and the ability for homeowners to sustain their mortgage payments while a trial modification is in place. Numerous financial institutions have seen the number of modifications they have made dwindle over the past months, but when compared to the overall picture of the modification program, many homeowners say that the numbers are simply too far apart.
As an example, the February 2011 Making Home Affordable Report stated that Citigroup had a cumulative total of 173,440 trial plans that were initially offered to homeowners, and a cumulative number of 128,405 trial modifications that were started. While Citigroup currently has a little over 6,000 active trial modifications and almost 44,000 active permanent modifications, there are homeowners who feel that the total number of trial modifications that have been started overall within the Making Home Affordable Program show somewhat of a disconnect in terms of homeowners being able to transition to an active permanent modification and sustain this plan for the long-term.
However, homeowners being either denied a trial or permanent modification is usually due to missed payments, having a low debt to income ratio, or simply not showing financial hardship for their situation, but proprietary modifications have also seen homeowners default once again after being offered a reduced mortgage payment. This has led some to question whether homeowners are either simply in a difficult financial position to the extent that they can no longer afford their home or have simply gained so much debt in their lives that they can no longer afford their home loan payment.
Many homeowners are angry with their servicer, despite the fact that there are some reasons outside of mismanagement or servicer error that have led to homeowners being denied this form of aid, but homeowners are being prompted to address financial issues are early by talking to HUD housing counselors or contacting their mortgage servicer to see if a modification or state-specific assistance may be available to help them with their particular mortgage difficulties. Home loan modifications are no guarantee, and there have been mistakes made by some servicers, but homeowners need to address issues in their financial life that could be hindering their mortgage payment and, if factors like unemployment are the reason they can no longer make their home loan payment, speaking with servicers or counselors may set these homeowners on a path that will lead them to the foreclosure prevention they need, rather than wading through the modification program only to be denied assistance due to fault on their part.