Wsj Citi Pushes Foreclosure Alternative

02.11.10 | FL News Team

Citigroup has unveiled a pilot project that would allow some home owners who are behind in their payments to stay in their homes under certain conditions. The "Wall Street Journal" reports the proposal would allow the delinquent borrowers to stay in their homes without making a mortgage payment for six months if they voluntarily transfer ownership of the home to the bank. Mortgage lenders have been working to try to arrange for smoother departures for distressed homeowners who can't be helped by loan modifications, while trying to discourage them from trashing their homes before leaving.

 The news of the new program comes as the latest RealtyTrac report shows a nation still struggling to dig out of a widespread mortgage crisis. Foreclosure filings dropped nearly ten-percent below December levels in January, but remained significantly higher than the same period in 2009. Sunbelt states remained the hardest-hit areas. Nevada marked the highest levels for the 37th straight month, despite a year-over-year decrease in foreclosures. Arizona, California and Florida also experienced higher-than-average foreclosure numbers.

 In January, more than 315-thousand-700 properties experienced foreclosure, default notices or bank repossessions. Six states accounted for nearly 60-percent of all U.S. filings. Phoenix, Arizona was the only top-ten metro area to report an increase in foreclosure filings last month, up four-percent from December. Despite a two-percent decrease in filings, Las Vegas still had the highest metro-area foreclosure rate in the country.