Citigroup Inc. managed to work out problem mortgages with more than 16 California borrowers for every home in the state it foreclosed on last quarter. The odds were considerably worse in Vegas.
In Nevada, workouts outnumbered foreclosures 4.6 to 1, according to a new report on Citi's foreclosure prevention efforts. Of the 22 markets for which Citi provided specific data, only Arizona had a thinner margin, with just 4.5 modifications, extensions, repayment plans or reinstatements for each foreclosure in the second quarter.
Mapping the pockets of weakness would yield few surprises for anyone who has tracked the progression of the housing crisis or the broader economic slowdown. But that does not make the starkness of the contrast between the hot spots in the Sun Belt and Midwest and the more stable markets in the Northeast any less compelling.
In New Jersey, Citi worked out more than 60 mortgages for every foreclosure. In Michigan and Indiana, the ratio was less than 8 to 1.
In North Carolina, mortgages more than 90 days past due accounted for 3.7% of Citi's servicing portfolio for the state. The delinquency rate for Florida was 10.5%.
Compared with the first quarter, delinquency rates rose in each of the 22 states covered in the report, which focuses on areas where Citi has a large servicing portfolio or significant foreclosure activity. Nationally, delinquencies for first and second mortgages serviced by Citi rose to 4.7%, up from 3.9% in the first quarter. For borrowers with FICO scores of less than 620, the delinquency rate topped 15%.
But efforts to keep distressed borrowers in their homes yielded encouraging results in the quarter, with the ratio of workouts to foreclosures more than doubling from six months ago, to 12 to 1 on a national basis, the company said.
Citi credited the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program with helping to improve the outcome of loss-mitigation efforts. Eric Eve, who heads Citi's global community relations department, also cited the involvement of housing counselors from affordable housing and community development advocates.
"In the states where things are going exceptionally well, you're starting to see some greater alignment between our efforts and local, nonprofit efforts," he said in an interview.
Citi's portfolio of serviced mortgages totaled $770.2 billion at June 30, down 2% from the first quarter and 10% smaller than a year earlier.