Economy

Citibank moves to slow foreclosures in California

Financial services giant Citi said Monday that it had dramatically stepped up its foreclosure prevention efforts in California — enabling 11,500 mortgage holders to remain in their homes in this year's second quarter.

That figure is more than double the 5,000 California mortgage holders who received such assistance in the second quarter of 2008.

Nationwide, 108,000 Citibank customers avoided potential foreclosure in the second quarter of 2009, according to company officials.

Citi said the number of home owners avoiding foreclosure was nearly 30 percent higher than in the first quarter of the year; the increase was more than 30 percent in California.

Major lenders such as Citibank have been under intense public and political pressure to keep more of their customers in their homes. This pressure has been heightened by the fact that Citibank and other large institutions have received billions of dollars in taxpayer funding.

Citi is currently one-third owned by the federal government.

The company contacted reporters this week to tout its progress.

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