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Citigroup Reaches Deal With Lawmakers on Home Loans

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Filed: Country: Philippines

By Renae Merle Washington Post Staff Writer

Senate leaders won the support of Citigroup, one of the nation's largest banks, for legislation allowing bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of troubled mortgages.

It was a surprising turnaround from a financial industry leader. The industry has protested Senate Democrats' proposal to allow judges to changes the terms of mortgages for a borrower's primary residence, saying it would make loans more expensive.

But the deal reflects the changed political and economic realities of the nation's deepening recession and puts pressure on other lenders to come aboard. President-elect Barack Obama has said he supports the provision and banks that have accepted federal aid have faced more pressure to do more to help homeowners. Also, the foreclosure crisis has worsened in the last year and industry and government efforts to keep people in their homes have had little impact.

Citigroup has received about $40 billion in government assistance last year.

Senators ####### Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called this a breakthrough on the bankruptcy issue and said they will push to add the provision to the economic stimulus package now moving through Congress.


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