CitiMortgage, the mortgage servicing branch of Citigroup (C), worked with nearly 128,000 borrowers in Q409 to avoid foreclosure on almost $19bn in mortgage loans, according to the company. Loan modifications in the distressed asset portfolios outpaced both foreclosures and delinquencies. Modifications increased 17% in Q409 from the previous quarter. For the entire year of 2009, Citi loan modifications increased 47% from 2008. Foreclosures initiated in the Citi servicing portfolio increased 1% in Q409 and 11% from Q408. The amount of actual completed foreclosures dropped 1% in Q409 and 42% from Q408, due to the company suspension of foreclosures for anyone willing to work with the bank as of December 2009. Delinquencies remained on the rise and increased to 6.8% in Q409 from 5.8% in the previous quarter and 3.7% in Q408. CitiMortgage joined the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) in April 2009, one month after the US Treasury Department launched the program to provide incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. In the December HAMP report from the Treasury, CitiMortgage led all servicers by providing trial and permanent modifications on 47% of the 241,981 loans in its HAMP-eligible portfolio. As of the latest report from the Treasury, GMAC rallied to catch up with and pass CitiMortgage by providing 53% of its portfolio with modifications, compared to 52% from Citi. GMAC does have fewer potential eligible loans in its portfolio however at just over 66,000. In all, servicers provided 170,000 permanent modifications through the program and conducted active trial and permanent conversions on 29% of the Treasury estimated 3.4m loans eligible for HAMP. Write to Jon Prior.

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