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Citi Suspends Correspondent

Quality control procedures at issue

June 24, 2009

By staff

Citigroup's mortgage subsidiary has suspended new correspondent business while it overhauls the unit's quality control procedures.

CitiMortgage Inc. suspended new correspondent registrations on June 23, according to a copy of a letter Monday to correspondent customers obtained by The suspension does not impact existing registrations, and loan purchases will continue during the period.

New registrations will resume on July 6, according to the letter. The move does not represent a change of long-term strategy for Citi, and no layoffs are involved.

"During this period, we will reengineer our process to ensure all
quality controls are enhanced and processes changed where needed to be, in order to be assured our loan purchases going forward meet our investors' requirements," according to the letter. "This brief stay will provide us with the necessary time to reengineer our critical control processes and ensure, going forward, all quality control measures are passed."

Citi cited a number of quality control issues in the letter.

The O'Fallon, Mo.-based lender is concerned about incomplete or missing appraisal documentation as well as inadequate property valuation methodology. It wants to ensure that employment and asset verifications are documented, prior housing payments are verified and income calculations are accurate. Also noted were missing or incomplete credit reports.

In addition, the HUD-1 closing statements need to be reviewed for confirmation that automated underwriting conditions are met and seller contributions don't exceed the maximum allowable.

"It is vital to our business and our relationship that we collectively work to dramatically improve quality," the letter said. "We ask you to review your processes and join us in this effort to collectively
address these areas of concern and ensure the delivery of superior quality loans."

In a media statement, Citi spokesman Mark Rodgers said quality control practices are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and areas of improvement have been identified.
The Mortgage Graveyard
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