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Citigroup Starts to Show Distressed Consumers the Money

money-two [1]Citigroup [2] was credited with more than half a billion dollars in consumer relief toward fulfilling its obligation of $2.5 billion under the terms of a July 2014 settlement July 2014 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice [3] and five states for selling toxic residential mortgage-backed securities to investors before the financial crisis, according a report from an independent monitor [4].

Settlement monitor Thomas Perrelli, a former associate U.S. attorney general and now a partner with Washington, D.C.-based law firm Jenner & Block, credited Citi with $512,456,710 in consumer relief for the period covering April 1, 2015, through June 30, 2015. The amount provided during Q2 2015 raised the cumulative total of consumer relief credited to Citi to $689,132,468, still less than a third of the settlement’s requirement of $2.5 billion. The bank has until 2018 to pay the remaining $1.8 billion. The report was Perrelli’s fourth since the settlement was reached and the first since September 2015.

2-1 Citi graph [5]According to the monitor, Citi was credited with $512.4 million in consumer relief during Q2 2015 in three different categories or menu items: First lien principal forgiveness ($3.95 million covering 70 transactions); rate reductions/refinancing ($78.5 million covering 2,002 transactions); and principal forgiveness where foreclosure is not pursued ($430 million covering 10,260 transactions). Citi requested credit for relief for 91 loans to affordable rental housing projects with a purported valuation in excess of $500 million; the monitor is currently working with Citi to validate the credit that the bank has submitted for the 91 loans.

Citigroup settled [3] with the DOJ and five states (California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Delaware) for a total of $7 billion in July 2014 amid claims that the bank misled investors as to the quality of mortgage-backed securities it sold. The portion of the penalty that went to the DOJ was $4.5 billion, which was the largest civil penalty to date under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA). Citigroup agreed to pay $2.5 billion in consumer relief as part of the settlement.

Click here [4] to see a complete copy of the settlement monitor’s January 2016 report. In the September 2015 report, the monitor credited the bank with $162.7 million in consumer relief [6] for the period covering November 22, 2014, through March 31, 2015.