Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CitiMortgage Pilot Aims to Stop Destruction of Foreclosed Homes

A new pilot program launched by CitiMortgage allows homeowners facing foreclosure to remain in their homes for six months – free of charge. They also receive $1,000 to cover moving expenses. In exchange, the homeowners must agree not to trash the home before they turn over the keys to the bank.

Michael Van Zalingen with NeighborWorks member Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, said in an interview with NBC news that this program will help relieve a much greater problem. Vacant, looted and destroyed homes are not only less attractive to buyers, they also drive down property values in the surrounding community and encourage crime.

For the at-risk homeowners, the program allows them leave with greater dignity, and their credit scores won’t be as damaged as with a true foreclosure Zalingen said.

NBC Chicago’s article and video on the CitiMortgage program are available here.

NeighborWorks America’s stable communities initiative helps local nonprofits respond to the community challenges that arise when foreclosed homes remain vacant or abandoned. Find out more about those efforts here.

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