A consumer-advocacy group has teamed up with CitiFinancial in a partnership designed to encourage responsible lending, both groups announced.
The National Training and Information Center (NTIC) will work with CitiFinancial to achieve several objectives, including:
- the creation of new procedures to help prevent foreclosure,
- the development of affordable mortgage product solutions,
- the implementation of a repair process for loans, and
- promoting CitiFinancial's Real Estate Lending Initiatives to other lenders, the statement said.
CitiFinancial and its lending practices have been targeted by consumer advocacy groups, including NTIC. According to today's statement, CitiFinancial has instituted new lending practices, including a reduction in points charged for loans from five to three. The company said it had also restructured its brokerage-based business and changed practices regarding credit insurance sales.
CitiFinancial found itself in trouble with the FTC after acquiring The Associates. The government agency accused the lender of unfair practices. CitiFinancial is in the process of working out a $240 million settlement, the bulk of which will reimburse borrowers for single-credit premium insurance expenses.
NTIC is based in Chicago. In addition to NTIC, many local neighborhood organizations are also parties to the agreement, according to the statement. They include groups in Cleveland, Ohio, Syracuse, New York, and Des Moines, Iowa.