Citigroup mortgages lowered: Citicorp...

Citigroup mortgages lowered: Citicorp to lower some mortgage pa...

There are 53 comments on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel story from Mar 3, 2009, titled Citigroup mortgages lowered: Citicorp to lower some mortgage pa.... In it, South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that:

Citigroup Inc. said that it will lower mortgage payments for some homeowners to an average of $500 a month for three months as part of a new program to help the unemployed.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

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DKR

Chicago, IL

#42 Mar 3, 2009
Aorora111 wrote:
<quoted text>
I would have to agree with you. Everyone is tight. But Citigroup is especially nasty. I called with help for my credit card interest.(my payment is only $76 a month, but $50 is interest). I purchased furniture last year when I had a good 40k plus job. Then I lost my job and found another one, albeit at a lot less than I was making, but it was a job. I called asking for help in lowering the 25% interest rate (I expected initially to pay it off very quickly) and got ****. My husband also lost a job and found a new one, but we're struggling like everyone else. I am paying my bills, but barely and just wanted a little help on the interest rate and basically got told to **** off, even after they got money from the government.
I agree also! It seems as if the credit card companies would be interested in helping out by lowering interest rates and avoiding credit card default, but the exact opposite is the case. If you call and ask them for an adjustment in your payment, you will get flagged as a risk and they could either jack up your interest even further, reduce your credit line, or both! So be VERY careful about asking for any help like this.

The credit card companies justify this by saying that with all the bad money out there, they have to protect whatever assets they have left by tightening their standards. It's an intuitive reaction that will make the problem even worse.

I say that if the creidt card companies are taking advantage of any TARP funds, they should be required to help those that are struggling. If the taxpayers are bailing them out, then the taxpayer should get some relief.
Paul K

Schaumburg, IL

#43 Mar 3, 2009
How about creating a Federally backed line of credit, if you are behind in your mortgage / underwater in your house value and want to refinance into a lower rate, move the excess valuation in the loan into a personal loan for the borrower at a markup over what the feds can get a money at. Bring the LTV on the loan on the property to 80% and modify the loan from there.

Also modify the Bankruptcy laws / foreclosure laws to do this first (if the person has any chance of paying off this new loan), and so that this Federal "line of credit" can not be wiped clean by bankruptcy in the future. Additional high interest rate loan (credit cards,...) could also be moved into the line of credit if it would assist the borrower to avoid future default. If the borrower looses their job/gets sick, then suspend payments, until they get back on their feet.

The should allow a lot of the Toxic asset problems to be sorted out, without writing blank checks to everybody. And maybe even make a bit of a profit from the program for the Government.
DKR

Chicago, IL

#44 Mar 3, 2009
glenn wrote:
<quoted text>
I suppose that way of looking at it makes me feel slightly better for being responsible, but only slightly.
It still feels like I'm getting the short end of this deal.
Frankly, you are. But this is what happens in civilized society. The more fortunate help out the less so. This isn't socialism, it's Life. I heard an analogy recently to address those who feel resentment that they've done everything right and still have to pick up the tab for so-called deadbeats and slackers:

If a house catches fire, the local fire department puts it out at taxpayer expense. No one asks why the fire started....it just gets extinguished because it's the right thing to do. Yes, even for the schmuck that smokes in bed.

Try thinking about what's happening in the world beyond your own little purview. Too many homes in foreclosure in your neighborhood also bring down the value of your own little castle, so in a small but very real sense, bailing these people out also benefits you.

Maybe you did all the right things. Sometimes you have to pay it forward. You'll never know what the future holds. Perhaps the day will come that you'll be grateful for similar assistance.
Sure

United States

#45 Mar 3, 2009
glenn wrote:
<quoted text>
What deadbeat? Did you even read what I posted? You're a complete moron. Got some more bad news for you, my credit score is probably as good as yours if not higher so I've got an interest in seeing it stay there.
I'm self-employed so I don't get unemployment or any of those benefits; I don't have kids, but I still get to pay for other's UE and their kids education. When do I get mine? Deadbeat, shmeadbeat, I want what's coming to me. This ain't a handout, it's payback.
I resent paying out for people who couldn't afford what they bought, while I live responsibly and pay my own way. If they're getting something then I want something too. At least I might go out and spend some money and stimulate the economy, I'm not completely broke yet.
Typical deadbeat attitude.

Thankfully, this country is filled with folks like me who spend their working years dutifully paying their taxes and collecting nothing. Like millions of others, I pay for others to collect unemployment, welfare, Section 8 Housing, food stamps, the Earned-Income Credit, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and all the countless bailouts enacted by Bush and Obama. Yet, despite the trillions that we paid, we never expect to collect a penny unless we’re fortunate enough to collect a bit of Social Security and Medicare.

We don’t ask,“When do I get mine?” We expect “what's coming to us,” unless it’s gained legitimately through our own toil.

Only the moochers in our society ask those questions or have an expectation of bailouts.

You really need to read “Atlas Shrugged.”

Who is John Galt?
Ben Dover

Lake Worth, FL

#46 Mar 3, 2009
What percent? 0000.2% of mortgages will be under this plan. All others will get a price increase and credit cards at 30% for the Sheeple!
Ben Dover

Lake Worth, FL

#47 Mar 3, 2009
Whats their stock price now?$1.50

We need to bail em out for 1 more time, we cant have them fail all the peoples home and credit cards have to be paid. They dont have to pay their lousy derivatives losses, we will pay that for them too!
Helpful Advice

Lakeland, FL

#48 Mar 3, 2009
We should not be bailing out banks but instead let all that stimulus money goto the people to pay off their debts. They have given away so much money now that each person or family could get a good amount of cash
Sure

United States

#49 Mar 3, 2009
glenn wrote:
<quoted text>
I suppose that way of looking at it makes me feel slightly better for being responsible, but only slightly.
It still feels like I'm getting the short end of this deal.
You and everyone who have lived responsibly are getting the short end of the stick. But, that’s nothing new – look at all the other entitlement programs that responsible folks like you and I have been paying towards for years.

Still, rest assured that being responsible and not expecting handouts will pay off in the end. First, we’ll come out of this mess in much better financial shape than those receiving the bailouts. We already know how to live within our means, so our lifestyles will not adjust at all. Our credit ratings will be in good shape and we’ll qualify for loans when none of these deadbeats can. They’ll either get foreclosed on or will be paying on the loans they couldn’t afford for decades. The deadbeats will either face bankruptcy or years of indentured servitude to the lenders.

In the coming years, when home prices finally hit bottom, we’ll be able to get financing to buy homes for pennies on the dollars. We’ll become the landlords for the deadbeats. We’ll have money to invest as the stock markets turn and they’ll still be paying their modified loans.

Most of all, we’ll at least be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and know that we did the right thing.
glenn

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#50 Mar 3, 2009
Sure wrote:
<quoted text>
Typical deadbeat attitude.
Thankfully, this country is filled with folks like me who spend their working years dutifully paying their taxes and collecting nothing. Like millions of others, I pay for others to collect unemployment, welfare, Section 8 Housing, food stamps, the Earned-Income Credit, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and all the countless bailouts enacted by Bush and Obama. Yet, despite the trillions that we paid, we never expect to collect a penny unless we’re fortunate enough to collect a bit of Social Security and Medicare.
We don’t ask,“When do I get mine?” We expect “what's coming to us,” unless it’s gained legitimately through our own toil.
Only the moochers in our society ask those questions or have an expectation of bailouts.
You really need to read “Atlas Shrugged.”
Who is John Galt?
Well, you aren't the first to suggest Ayn Rand could have been writing about the reaction to the bailout.

John Galt is the embodiment of the guilt of the middle class. You could ask who is C-3P0, but I don't agree that we were made for suffering either. I don't buy into the idea of the economy as a social tool nor do I feel noblesse oblige regarding my savings acccount. Save the gospel for Carnegie, he's got enough money to practice what he preaches.
enough is enough

Stuart, FL

#51 Mar 3, 2009
glenn wrote:
Thanks for helping, guys, but why do you have to wait until you're behind two months? Should I just stop paying my mortgage for a couple of months until they notice and call me? I had the sense and good fortune to have some money saved to live from and now I feel like less responsible people are being rewarded.
Less responsible people are being rewarded ... all over the country by the new dimwits in DC. Citi is likely to jack up the rates on the credit cards to compensate for the interest they lose from this modification program. They'll only raise rates on those of us who pay because the ones defaulting obviously aren't going to be able to pay more.

Hear that big swooshing sound as Ross Perot once said? It's the life being removed from the middle class -- those of us who are left.
DAS

United States

#52 Mar 4, 2009
Yea sure they WILL

Since: Jan 07

Hialeah, FL

#53 Mar 4, 2009
Arbitrator,

You and I don't always agree, but on this post, I'm there with you 100%. Many of these "homeowners" have been paying under the INTEREST on their loans for years now. They may have been paying less then rent, and now (because the loan balance goes up with an option ARM), they find themselves deeply underwater.

How is that our problem? They never "owned" anything anyway, that just had a huge line of credit with the bank (that will never be paid back). I just don't see much point in bailing out those who were, in many cases, clearly irresponsible. They deserve to take the credit hit, and be renters for 3-5 years. I've been a renter that long patiently waiting out this bubble, why is it OK for me but not good enough for them?
Arbitrator wrote:
Mine is a no vote for this plan.
It makes much more sense to me to allow the market to adjust (collapse if need be). Many of those homeowners going into foreclosure now got hooked on zero down or very low down payment and also the hybrid ARMs that had pay options such as interest only and pick a pay. The ARMs have been resetting. Even with jobs those homeowners who purchased with these risky loans can't (and never could) afford the mortgage payment after reset.
We know how and why this happened.
The mortgage brokers "packaged" the loan applications with just the right information needed for approval and the loan originators were so eager to get their commissions they didn't bother reviewing the applications or verifying any submitted information. The borrowers, who couldn't possibly afford the homes to begin with, will get yet another free ride while lenders such as CitiBank will get more bailout (taxpayer) money.
It's a proven fact that 46% of those who have defaulted will redefault. Throwing bags of money at the problem won't help solve anything. It destroys how a free market works and pampers those who were irresponsible.
A few of solutions come to mind to improve the economy and prevent a future consisting of lending tomfoolery. First, the boards of directors and executive management staff should be released from their positions if ANY bailout money is received from the feds. That would encourage good decision making from the new hierarchy and put their feet to the fire. Next, shareholders need to be able to hire/fire and set compensation for executives and the board of directors. Currently, if the gov't nationalizes a bank the shareholder loses everything. Doesn't make sense especially if the executives are getting million dollar bonuses for poor performance.
Anyone who receives a commission for processing mortgage loans should receive them over a period of time based upon the loan performance or basically the repayment of the mortgage loan. This means that when the mortgage is not paid, the mortgage broker, loan originators and underwriters and the banks themselves are all collectively impacted by the decisions made. Finally, risky ARM mortgage products such as zero interest and pay option need to be abolished by laws enacted by Congress. Along with that concept is the elimination of credit default swaps OR classifying credit default swaps as insurance and regulated as such.
We are leaning heavily toward socialism when the government bails out irresponsible companies and individuals with impunity. Captitalism strives for success but also allows for failure.
DKR

Chicago, IL

#54 Mar 4, 2009
Helpful Advice wrote:
We should not be bailing out banks but instead let all that stimulus money goto the people to pay off their debts. They have given away so much money now that each person or family could get a good amount of cash
I would LOVE that! And it would be SUCH a help....

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