Citi's PR gesture
At first I just dismissed Citi's holiday suspension of foreclosures as a PR stunt. Until I read the fine print:
Citi has enrolled about 100,000 borrowers in the Obama program, but had made only about 270 of those modifications permanent as of the end of last month, according to a Treasury Department report. But Das said the low number resulted from a "reporting error" and said it will rise dramatically by year-end.
And then I remembered the McClatchy piece:
In the fine print of the form homeowners fill out to apply for Obama's program, which lowers monthly payments for three months while the lender decides whether to provide permanent relief, borrowers must waive important notification rights.
This clause allows banks to reject borrowers without any written notification and move straight to auctioning off their homes without any warning.
Obviously Citi is planning a strategy to heard borrowers into the Obama/Snidley Whiplash loan modification program and move directly to auction.
The blogger at the Financial Times wasn't too impressed.