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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Citi's "foreclosure alternative"

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Citigroup Inc. plans to let homeowners on the verge of foreclosure stay in their homes for six months -- if they turn over the deed to their property.

Citi said Thursday it is launching the pilot program, dubbed "Foreclosure Alternatives," this week in Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio. Initially, about 1,000 homeowners are expected to participate. Citi may expand the program nationwide.

In a normal foreclosure, a lender assumes legal control of the property and evicts the homeowner. But Citi's program, like other "deed in lieu of foreclosure" efforts, allows the homeowner to avoid a completed foreclosure. While the owner must still leave the home after six months, the program results in a less severe hit to the borrower's credit score.

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