Citigroup and Bank of America loosen standards for struggling borrowers

Offer mortgages with discounted rates

Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) will start to offer mortgages at discounted interest rates as part of their efforts to help borrowers with low incomes or subprime-credit histories. Per The Wall Street Journal:

Citigroup, the seventh-largest mortgage lender by volume in the U.S., has agreed to fund 15-year fixed-rate mortgages with below-market interest rates for these borrowers. The move comes after Bank of America, the third-largest mortgage lender, signed on earlier this month.

The article explained that the loans are being originated and distributed by the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, a national nonprofit based in Boston that works primarily with low- to moderate-income borrowers, including those who have subprime credit.

NACA and its chief executive, Bruce Marks, have a reputation for pushing banks to provide unusual deals for borrowers. Banks agree to the terms, in part, to show regulators they are providing loans to borrowers of all stripes and to attempt to receive credits under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which requires banks to lend in neighborhoods where they receive deposits.

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