Citigroup CEO visits campus and talks job prospects

| Editor-in-chief
Matt Mitgang | Student Life

Matt Mitgang | Student Life

Citigroup Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit met with Olin students Monday in the Knight Center during a visit to St. Louis. Pandit was in town to announce preliminary third-quarter results of Citi’s foreclosure prevention activities in Missouri. Citi has more than 200 million client accounts globally and is known as one of the “Big Four Banks” of the U.S. Pandit sat down with Student Life and gave advice to students looking for jobs or internships.

Student Life: What would you recommend for students about to enter the job market?
Vikram Pandit: It’s all about an education. Don’t worry about the rest; it will happen down the road.

SL: Is 2010 a bad time to be graduating?
VP: I do think that the economy feels a little better to us, it seems to be stabilizing a bit more here, so if you were to look at the economic environment right now, by the time they get out of school, it might actually turn out to be a good time for them.

SL: Is Citi hiring right now?
VP: We are hiring a lot from schools right now, and I know some other firms are as well. Most of the firms like ours take a very long-term view—you want the young people in, you want to get them every year and train them because ultimately, it is a talent business. We haven’t really changed many of our plans, and I know that most other companies haven’t. Students should do what they have been doing, which is study hard and interview well so they can get a good job.

SL: With foreclosures on the rise, there are more jobs available in the mortgage industry than in years past, for example. Should students package themselves differently in order to meet the current demands?
VP: There are aspects of that that one has to be aware of, but when we recruit students coming from schools—undergraduate and graduate students—we recruit for the long haul. This isn’t about hiring you for a particular job, this is about bringing you in as a part of the training programs, [a] part of what is going to make you great over time.

SL: How should you approach job recruiters?
VP: There may be jobs that are specific that they might be going after, but if you are looking at Citi, just be yourself and just talk about what you really like to do, what do you want to do in your life, what do what you want to learn, what kind of career do you want to have, what interests you. That’s the most exciting for us.

SL: Are there a lot of business job opportunities in St. Louis?
VP: There is a great community in St. Louis, and Citi has been lucky to find some great people who have decided to work here. I think we have some 6,000 employees in Missouri and 4,500 in St. Louis. What St. Louis offers is a lot of different aspects of a large city in a great living environment, which is why there are a lot of companies here. There are a lot of opportunities here.

SL: So students shouldn’t be scared to graduate?
VP: I think it is good to be prepared and it is good to have realistic perspectives about what could happen. I’m not saying that every employer is still doing the same hiring that they used to. I’m saying that we haven’t changed.

SL: And Wash. U. students specifically?
VP: My guess is that you are going to find that for the kind of school Wash. U. is and the kind of students you are, I think that they are going to be in demand.

SL: Did you enjoy your visit to Wash. U.?
VP: There was so much energy. It’s great to see the energy; it’s great to see the diversity. I thought the [students’] questions were absolutely terrific. They are really tuned in to what’s going on, so I enjoyed spending time with them.

  • Jerome Bauer

    Whenever I used to post to this discussion board within minutes I would get a friendly call from my personal Executive Response Escalations Department officer to discuss my pending loan modification. I know Vikram Pandit is no longer CEO but there’ll always be somebody showing up at job fairs to recruit students for entry level jobs as robo-signersor the latest corporate scam. Thanks, Citimortgage, for your court ordered refund of $1,000 in late fees, more than the $800 I asked for. Now show me the Note (but I don’t believe you can). My public defender advised me to keep yanking the CEOs chain. “That’s your only hope.”

    10/6/13

    Dear Congressman Lacy Clay and the Public:
    Attn: Missouri Attorney General Koster, United States Attorney General Holder, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Missourians Organizaing for Reform and Empowerment, Chancellor Wrighton of Washington University in St Louis

    I am an underwater homeowner suffering from a visual disability and a recalcitrant mortgage servicer, Citimortgage. I need assistance getting my loan modification so I can rebuild my life and career, put my home at the service of the local visually disabled community, and get off disability. I have lost all confidence in Citimortgage and am looking for somebody I can trust. I am composing this letter from the rehabilitation hospital where I am recovering from a cerebellar stroke and receiving low vision mobility training, and some help with paperwork. My doctors told me I almost died when I had to go off prescription medicine due to loss of Medicaid coverage when my disability checks started coming. Fortunabely I am now covered by Medicare, though I am new to this coverage and do not yet know its extent and limitations.

    In late Spring 2013 I received a check for $1,000 from a different Citimortgage department than I am used to dealing with. I could not read it so I took it to my bank and the teller read it to me. It was a chec for improper mortgage servicing, ordered by a court, with a statement that cashing the check would not prevent me from taking further action. It also informed me that I had been sent a letter about this earlier. To my knowledge I received no such letter, but shortly thereafterI was sent a bill twice, once in the format of the court ordered check, once in Citimortgage’s familiar format, for two months’ payment at my trial loan modification rate back in late ’09 and early ’10, when I was in parallel foreclosure and being charged late fees and delinquency charges by a different department, evidently in bad faith. I paid the reduced bill happily and on time. Even so, my next bill included an exorbitant late charge and delinquency charge. I paid the bill after having subtracted the fees, making a note of that on my check. As they have done before, the money went into an unassigned funds account, and they sent me a letter informing me that my account is in default.

    In late ’09 they would have sent me a loan modification that dramatically increased my payments instead of decreasing them, even as Washington University’s proxy real estate buyer was sending me unsolicited and unwelcome overtures (autumn ’07, spring ’08, and autumn ‘11) but this was caught by the “Obama people” working for them and the evidence was shredded. I filed a previous complaint with the Justice Departmene and my Coongressman, Lacy Clay. I received a reply that both Attorneys General had jurisdiction and were inviestigating the case, looking for patterns. They informed me that Citimortgage denied any knowledge of the incident. The Making Home Affordable specialists working for Citimortage’s Escalations department apologized and informed me that the intent of the program was to make home affordable, not unaffordable. Then, after having been given the scare of my life when a sale date was posted for the day before Thanksgiving, 2009, I was offered my trial loan modification. I made eery payment on time, thanks to a benefit concert organized by local activists and publicized on local TV. Even so, my modfication was denied and I was charged back late fees (evidently now refunded by court order). The reason given was alleged failure to pay on time. More recently I received a letter from them threatening to foreclose my home if I did not send them ten cents by certified check or money order by a certain date. One friend suggested I tape ten pennies to a card and send it to them, but another persuaded me that payment amounts to acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the charge and may have legal consequences. I did not pay and heard nothing of the matter so far, but who knows how they do their accounting? I have no faith in their accounting methods.

    As I write this, from my hospital bed, I await two home visits when I return to my underwater home. One is from Washington University’s Occupational Therapy Department, a low vision specialist who will help me optimize my home for low vision scholarship so I can resume my career and get off disability and back on the payroll. She will also help me optimize my home for cooperative group living for the visually disabled, a use sanctioned and enshrined in city law. I hope to be able to increase my boarder income by this means, and improve my quality of life as well. The second is from a community based association for the blind and low visioned, who will set me up with community services and resources, including possibly additional sources of income to supplement my disability payments while I work to overcome my handicap and get back on my feet. All this requires a little time, and a mortgage payment reduction, to bear fruit. That is why I am asking for your intercession. I will be publicly grateful and politically indebted to whoever helps me get my loan modification and principle reduction.

    Since the community supported benefit concert in January 2010, I have been gratefully attempting to pay it forward by serving on the front line of local mortgage activism. We have picketed Bank of America, Wells Fargo, USBank, and others, but not CitiBank or Citimortgage, because their only office in our area is in the suburbs. Whatever the outcome of my case, and my personal fate, I look forward to joining my friends who have been fellow victims of this company, to express publicly our displeasure. For example, one online friend told me she had her mortgage payments set up with her bank and while she was not paying attention Citimortgage changed the due date and precise amount claimed, resulting in her payments going into an “unassigned” account, cascading late and delinquent charges, and the bank’s sale of her home. She got it back but it was hard, stressful work for no good reason. I bet she and others like her can’t wait to protest. We can use the same mock Christmas carols we sang at our December 2010 protest of Bank of America, as the Boehm family read aloud their litany of runaround lines used by the bank to deceive them. “I’ll be homeless by Christmas” is particularly poignant for me, since the Public Defender I consulted when their lawyers had a sale date on my home the day before Thanksgiving informed me that I would indeed be homeless around about that time. In her expert opinion there was no way out, until I told her of my ability to get and hold the attention of politicians and community leaders, including University Chancellors and Presidents. Her face lit up and she said, “You keep doing that. That’s your only hope.” Another favorite protest carol was “Ho ho ho, where did it go? Up on Wall Street, click click click, they tood our money, now aren’t they slick?” “O BoA, oh BoA, I can’t believe how much you lied” will work just as well as “Oh Citigroup, oh Citigroup, I can’t believe how much you lied.” I am glad my check for $1,000 refunded parallel foreclosure late fees states clearly that cashing my refund for “improper loan servicing” does not prevent me from taking further action. I look forward to taking further action, but we all need as much help as we can get.

    Thank you,

    Jerome Bauer, PhD.

    • Jerome Bauer

      How about “Citi Never Sleeps. That’s Why Their Brains Are Addled”? I owe this to a friend, another Citi victim itching for a fight.

  • Jerome Bauer

    Here is my Open Letter to Citimortgage and Citigroup, as polite as it can be:

    Jerome Bauer
    **************
    March 21, 2011

    To Citimortgage, and to whom it may concern:
    \4
    Thank you for your letter, dated (3/9/11), explaining why you have denied me the Home Affordable Modification. You claim that I have been denied because I failed to make all the required payments during the trial period. This is incorrect, and bank records will show this to be the case. I made every payment and my students and the St Louis community even organized a benefit concert to help me make one of these payments, featured on a local television news story last year.

    I have a few questions for you.
    1) Why did you deny to the Attorney General that you made an offer to increase substantially my monthly payments to $1900 in August 2009? This error was caught in time by the Obama team called in to oversee your government bailout.
    2) Why have you reserved the right to restrict access to your website?
    3) When you took over my mortgage from Coldwell Banker Mortgage in summer 08, why did you increase my monthly payments by c. $100? Why have you now lowered my monthly payments by the same amount, claiming a shortfall in my escrow? I am not complaining, I am just asking.
    4) When I was in the trial period of the Home Affordable Modification Program last year, why did you send me a bill for the full monthly payment, an $800 late fee, and a claim that I had agreed to this?

    Please refund the $800 late fee. Please show me the Note.

    Sincerely,

    Jerome Bauer, PhD

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    July 4, 2010

    Happy Independence Day! On this day I declare independence from victimhood and foreclosure, and I declare my commitment to get out of debt and rebuild my life and career, with or without help.

    Help has come to me unexpectedly, in the last month. I am not out of danger but with good management I should be able to rebuild my credit, and I can now afford to teach college courses for contract adjunct lecturer pay, indeed a privilege. I am confident that I will be able to keep my house.

    As a point of honor, I never considered selling my house, for fair market value or short sale. Washington University in St Louis, London Properties, and Citimortgage, among others, will attest to that. I was quite prepared, as a last resort, to become a squatter in my own home, and to invite some of you to join me, as a point of honor, and in fulfillment of a promise made to me by some of you. Now I may never know who would have risked arrest with me, and who would have played it safe. Now I can play it safe. I can live at home, as a respectable law abiding citizen, and never know what life in a homeless shelter would be like. Some things may be good not to know. I want to leave this behind me and look to a better future.

    Thanks to all who helped, especially to Adam Shriver and the St Louis Activist Hub for the Benefit to Save Cervantes Free University, which bought me some time. Please support the Activist Hub and the mortgage activism of the People’s Settlement, to keep working folks in our homes. If you prefer, you could help me indirectly by donating to the WashU CoOp, http://www.washucoop.com, General Inquiries. Just ask for our Treasurer, and make a pledge to our Sustainability Fund or our Garden Fund. Sorry this is not yet tax deductible. If I need help again, I will be sure to ask, but I prefer not to beg. I declare my independence from victimhood.

    Please help others less fortunate than yourselves. You too could lose your job, your home, and your health, and then it will be your turn to ask, or to beg. It could happen to anyone.

    Thanks especially to my patient and kind housemates, who were kept informed and would not have been asked to go down with my sinking ship.

    Don’t be a victim. That’s boring at best. When somebody helps you, be sure to pay it forward.

    Happy Independence Day!

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    I may owe Citimortgage an apology. About a week after I received the message with the raspberry, I received the standard Hope Alliance message, preceded by two raspberries. This is probably a prank. Very funny.

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    Vikram Pandit, why did you not accept my last dinner invitation? I asked you nicely.

    I seem to remember asking him to dinner, or was it my penultimate Executive Response Team case manager? She seemed so nice, I asked her nicely. My very last case manager was not nice at all. Bad Cop, obviously. Now they have another Good Cop working on my case, and robotic raspberries. What will they think of next?

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    They take requests! In my last message, I described the rude robot message from citimortgage collections, with an extremely loud disconnect tone, that I have heard so often before. I asked, “Why don’t they just send us a raspberry instead?” At about 8:30 today, I received a call from them, “This message will not be repeated,” with a request that I call them. A loud raspberry played in the background! I must get this one recorded, because it will never be repeated, right?

    Let’s march through their office and give them our raspberry. This is long overdue.

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    Happy Memorial Day from Citimortgage and all who are “in the process,” as they euphemistically call it. This means you get robot calls exhorting you to stay on the line for an important message from Citimortgage, followed by a VERY loud disconnect tone. Why don’t they just give us a raspberry instead?

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    Happy Memorial Day! Remember a time when bankers were honest? Citimortgage speaks out of two sides of its face, giving me their “good cop, bad cop” routine, in my final stages of “the process,” almost a year now since june 26, 2009. My Executive Response Team case manager told me I had been denied, I do not make enough money to afford the house, and I would either have to “short sell” or they would take it. I tried to tell him I have a job lined up at Webster, with more work on the way, but he did not listen. The next day, another person from Loss Mitigation called, and asked me how my call the day before had gone. I said, “not well.” She seemed very sympathetic, and seemed very interested in all the community support I am getting, and the sources of support and funding I may have. She informed me that a case had been reopened on me, and I now have to pay the full monthly payment, not the reduced rate, pending my “preapproval.” I think they want to find out how much community support I really have. All you St Louis mortgage activists, what do you say? How much support do we who are “in the process” really have? Are we going to let these bankers take our tax money and run? Who will oversee the bankers’ bailout?

    Happy Memorial Day! Can you remember a time when bankers were honest? Perhaps our local bankers and savings and loans are still honest. Let’s break up with our banks, and invest in our local communities. Put people before profits.

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    Everybody get back on the “Save Professor Bauer: It’s Good Karma” bandwagon. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The Channel 5 News story, “Students rally to save professor’s co-op house,” stressing my connection with Washington University and my continuing and indispensable role in the WashU Coop had to have had the tacit approval of the university’s Public Affairs office. So why not get out your old t-shirts and wear them again?

    I did not call the press, they called me to cover a newsworthy story that they had been following for quite some time. Had the story or the healine reflected badly upon WashU or Citimortgage, I doubt if it would have run.

    Professor Bauer is back. Actually, Professor Bauer has never left WashU. Professor Bauer is, and always has been, a respected member of the WashU community, and our students will rally to save his house, and Citimortgage will take credit for doing the right thing and making his low income loan modification permanent. They will be given credit for doing so. Our students will be given credit too, for saving his house and not trashing it. Our students are good neighbors.

    Don’t ask permission. Don’t let anybody else define you. I like the story though I did not write it.

    I did not start this group either. My students started it, and I was even allowed to join for a while: Save Professor Bauer: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2269848616&ref=mf

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    Happy Cinco de Mayo! I received a robotic call from CtiiMortgage on Monday, and also an email, informing me that my loan modification is in its final stages of review. I have done everything they asked of me, and I have been honest. My employers have sent letter verifying past employment only, with no reference to future employment, no doubt because I successfully appealed School X’x inappropriate denial of my unemployment compensation on bogus grounds of “reasonable assurance.” They should have paid me as a full time faculty member anyway, for filling in while somebody was on sabbatical. “Glorified substitute teacher” I was, and remain, but I can realistically expect to make a steady but small income doing this. If Citimortgage tries to deny my loan modification, they know perfectly well that I have many friends who are very active in mortgage relief activism and they will turn out to support me, as they have done before. They also know that there is and ongoing investigation by the Attorneys General, and I will continue to keep the government and the press informed.

    So, happy Cinco de Mayo! Yesterday was International Star Wars Day. In case you missed it, May the 4th Be With You, Vikram Pandit and Citimortgage!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    Hooray! A search for “Vikram Pandit” yielded this article. For a brief time just before the People’s Settlement week of action, none of the key words worked, but fortunately I had posted this to my “Don’t Panic! Your House Will Not Be Sold the Day Before Thanksgiving” event, so I was able to find it. It had been temporarily blocked, most likely NOT by Student Life but apparently by the corporation. What gives them the right? Surely not the Patriot Act?

    It was easy to find folks to cuss out Bank of America, because it is hard to find a satisfied customer, and yet they behave as if they have a monopoly. Now they have agreed to fly their loss mitigation team to St Louis to keep folks in their homes, and they are making other changes. The customer is always right, yes?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    Citigroup, your CEO was in town to talk job prospects and mortgage relief. Now where is YOUR loss mitigation team? Where is YOUR Executive Response Team? Will you escalate a case if we do not escalate it ourselves, as I had to do?

    Citimortgage, how can you let yourselves be outdone by Bank of America? Let you and all the other mortgage bankers come here to the People’s Settlement, St Louis, and settle this, so we can all keep our homes and get back to work.

    Thank you for escalating my case, but I do not want to be poster boy for privilege. Thanks for the VIP treatment, but we are ALL VIPs.

    Lecturer Dr. Jerome Bauer
    –People’s Settlement, across from St Louis City Hall

    per veritatem vis

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    Hooray!

    I am very happy that Citimortgage’s executive response person called this morning to tell me that the permanent loan modification will be complete within two weeks, and the underwriter is standing by to write the check. I am not being treated as a special case, am I? Bank of America, where are you? Let’s see YOUR CEO here in st louis, to talk job prospects and mortgage relief

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    P.S. Perhaps “targeting” in the post above is too strong. Perhaps “petitioning” would be more accurate. Let’s keep our discourse civil and respectful. Please.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    Please let’s give Citi a pass, for now.

    I am glad that we are targeting Bank of America, the mortgage company with the worst record, instead of Citimortgage, the second worst, because the latter are working to improve their record, and they are in the final stages of a loan modification for me, which could be jeopardized by Bank of America’s cascading overdraft fees. I now have a negative bank balance only because of that, and if I miss any credit card payments because of this, my special arrangements with those companies may be jeopardized. I cannot afford health insurance, health care, or medicine (for glaucoma and high blood pressure) that I need. I am in jeopardy six ways at once, like so many others who are much worse off. Who will help me? How can I help you? How can we help each other?”

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=375440387465&ref=mf
    http://peoplessettlement.blogspot.com/

    PS. I had to go to my my Facebook event, “Don’t Panic: Your House Will Not Be Foreclosed Nov. 25″ to find this, because a search of the Student Life database yielded no results for “Citimortgage,” “Citigroup,” or “Vikram Pandit.” Really, who are they trying to fool with this?

    Even so, Citi gets a pass. For the present. They are no more a monolith than WashU.

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    Some advice to all who are “in the process” of loan modification: you will be sent robotically generated form letters from the Collections Department, running on autopilot no doubt, insisting that you have agreed to things to which you have not given consent. For example, I recently got another letter demanding the payment of all mortgage payments missed while I was being strung along under the old agreement last summer, and demanding that I pay more than $800 penalty, for having failed to pay the entire sum by February 1 “as we had agreed.” We had no such agreement. They send a new version of that letter every month. If you ignore it, their lawyers will no doubt claim that you have failed to contest their claim. If you call them on the phone, they may claim not to have heard you The calls “may” be recorded, but then again they may not be, and they may be erased and denied, as has happened in the case of their $1900 a month Making Home Unaffordable summer bombshell.

    Please do as I am doing. Post a complete record online, and invite press attention. Do not trust them. Go over their heads, to the Attorneys General, Congress, the President, and to the Chancellor of the local Company Town. Go to the people, to all others suffering “in the process,” a euphemism for having one’s life work stolen away. Please let’s keep our eyes on the prize and our attention span long and wide enough to see the whole process, so we know what to do and how to help each other.

    By the way, for the record, we had verbally agree first to a six month trial period, then to a four month period. Now they seem to be claiming that we had only a three month trial period, December, January, and February, leaving us only two weeks to wrap it up. Very nice, if they are going to make the modificaton permanent so I can get on with my life. I fear another outcome, as I must. I cannot let down my guard, nor should you.

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    Here is my Valentine’s Day message to guests of the ongoing Facebook event, “Don’t panic: your house will not be foreclosed November 25: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=164120369582&ref=mf

    Citimortgage and the Missouri Attorney General may be a match made in heaven, but the relationship between Citimortgage and the US Attorney General and Congress may be a bit more troubled. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

    Dear Friends,

    Yesterday I received a letter from the Missouri Attorney General, back on the case after having handed it over to the US Attorney General. Is there a local angle? Is there something we don’t know? Who can say?

    They inform me that they will be watching for recurrent patterns. Good job! They enclosed Citimortgage’s response, in which they deny any knowledge of their $1900 a month Making Home Unaffordable proposal, caught internally by the Obama people working for Citimortgage and shredded in late summer. I was told of this in a phone conversation, and a record of this was kept in the file used by their operators for a time, because one of them referred to it. This information has no doubt been deleted. Citimortgage now tells the Attorneys General that I have almost completed my trial period, and they acknowledge that I have paid two installments in my trial period. I have actually paid three, thanks to the benefit concert and community support! Thanks again. Let’s do that again, for YOU when YOU need help. What would we do without each other?

    I wish a very happy Valentine’s Day to Citimortgage and the Missouri Attorney General, a very nice couple. I wish a very happy Valentine’s Day to you, my friends.

    Love and respect,

    Jerome [Howard] Bauer
    Shevek Nagarjuna Kundakunda

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    Today, Monday February 8, I received a letter from Citi, demanding all back mortgage payments, “as we had agreed” that I would pay on February 1, and repeating their threat to fine me more than $800 delinquency fees. We had no such agreement, and I will pay no such fine. THEY are the ones who “lost” my paperwork, and they are famous for that. Now that I have my package, finally, I am going to get out my magnifying lamp, read it very cerefully, and find a UPS drop box, tomorrow or Wednesday. I am going to read every line of fine print.

    I think this is routine, a form letter almost identical to the one I received last month, but it is alarming nonetheless. Being “in the process,” in the “final stage” of a loan modification, is terrifying indeed. I hope we can get this made permanent without much more delay, to avoid any more bad publicity for Citimortgage, or any more mortgage activism on my behalf. Let some other individual in need be our beneficiary, and let some other less reputable company be our target, not Citimortgage. They have a very bad reputation, and they need some good PR. Don’t they?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    Today, Saturday 2/6/10, I received a call from someone calling himself “Mike,” just like my first Executive Response case manager, about my “hardship case” credit card repayment plan. He claimed to offer a better deal, but then he asked for personal information, and read me a statement “required by law,” all about the Patriot Act, and how we all have to make sure “terrorists” don’t use our credit cards to fund their operations. I have never before been confronted with the so-called “Patriot Act,” the Domestic Informer Act really, and I became suspicious and hung up. Was this a phishing scam? Or was it, in some sense, real? To get hardship assistance, must I renounce “terrorism,” sometimes defined as labor advocacy?

    I am glad I hung up in time. Now I am more inclined than ever to read carefully every line in my Citimortgage “hardship affidavit,” lest there are any hidden “loyalty oaths” or anything of the sort.

    What are we coming to?

    Citi Never Sleeps, and neither do we who are “in the process.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    When I called CitiMortgage to pay my bill by electronic check, just in the nick of time, I heard something new: the Muzak was interrupted by a narrator who touted the company’s work with Habitat for Humanity and other local community organizations. Fact check, anyone?

    The person I talked to informed me that I am in the trial period. Good. I am glad they are not pretending otherwise. I finally received the loan modification via UPS Certified Mail, backdated to the date it was supposed to have been sent. Instead of sending it right away, as they urge me to do, I am going to take my good time and read ALL the fine print with my magnifying lamp. What’s another week?

    Citi Never Sleeps. Indeed. Neither do we who are “in the process.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    Here is a link to a news story on KSDK Channel 5 news, about a benefit concert organized by my students in less than a week after I finally acknowledged my situation and asked for some help, a modest amount to keep me from missing a reduced payment in the trial period of my modified loan. They did not run Jacob Stern’s comments calling St Louis to mortgage activism along this model. I am not too surprised. They wanted to keep the story positive. I myself had only positive things to say about CitiMortgage, and I gave them full credit for catching their error last summer, and shredding their unaffordable proposal.

    This could have been avoided, last summer. Why does it take a year? I have talked to others who have lost their homes, and they tell me that the mortgage companies will not even listen to you before you actually fall behind on payments, and when you do, they treat you like dirt. I know what they mean, having been “in the process” for almost a year. I would not wish this on anyone, not even my worst enemy.

    Here is the story:

    http://origin.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=194877&catid=3

    It is mostly about the WashU Co-op, as it ought to be. I bought my house to help the Co-op, and I’ll keep it to help the Co-op grow and flourish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593555791 Jerome Bauer

    Today I received my loan modification package. Tomorrow is the deadline suggested by Michael, my Executive Response case manager, for faxing my rewritten Hardship Letter, and some supporting materials. I am on the fast track now!

    If you, too, want to get on the fast track, here are some resources, compiled by my friend, filmmaker Josh Lassing:
    “Stories, and short videos of interest // related to mortgage crisis/activism,”
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=299976444828

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    Today I received a form letter from CitiMortgage Collections Department, informing me that we had agreed that I would pay the full back balance by January 1, and charging me $825.96 Delinquency Charge. Since we had no such agreement, and since CitiMortgage “lost” the agreement I was to have signed for my four month Making Home Affordable Loan Modification Trial Period, the Delinquency Charge should apply to CitiMortgage, not to me. Let’s all send their bills back to them, if they are delinquent.

    CitiMortgage, please deduct this from my upcoming February payment. Of course, I will be sure to pay the whole amount that we DID agree to, rather than give you another bad excuse to take my house. I am glad the Executive Response Team is on my case, reopening my file, redoing my papers, and investigating all cases of “lost” agreements, and CitiMortgage harassment techniques. Thank you, CitiMortgage! I am glad Congress is investigating the bailout. Here, kitty, kitty!

    Call me old-fashioned, but my mother and my father taught me that crime does not pay, and crooks belong in jail. Karma Police will arrest you, if the citizens don’t do it first, if you cheat your customers and lie to the government.

    Karma Police, arrest these folks, they talk in maths, they’re like an unstuck record…

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=164120369582&ref=ss

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com/victory.htm Jerome Bauer

    Well, the harassing phone calls from CitiMortgage have stopped. Will they claim I have been unresponsive, to the phone calls and letters they no longer send? They have done so in the past, but now I am calling them on it. Perhaps they are listening. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you CitiGroup, Millsapp and Singer, Indy Mac, et. al. May you NOT earn Scrooge of the Year award, unless it be Reformed Scrooge of the Year.

    I nominate CitiMortgage for Reformed Scrooge of the Year Award. May they earn it. May President Obama earn his Peace Prize, too. Let’s have peace on earth, good will to all creatures. Happy Holidays and good cheer to all!

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com Jerome Bauer

    I heard a politician on television say of the mortgage bankers: “We asked the lion to lay down with the lamb, and when we came back, the lamb was missing. Now we are calling, “Here, kitty, kitty.” Here, kitty, kitty!

    My case is not unique, it seems quite common: they string you along, demanding new documents, pretending to lose your file, harassing you with robot and human phone calls, some rudely cutting you off, giving you the runaround, and keeping you in a constant state of distraction and anxiety so you cannot make plans or do your real work properly. They hope you will give up, so they will get your house. I am glad the government is cracking down. Don’t we need good government, to oversee the bankers’ bailout?

    I am grateful for the escalation of my case, by the Citigroup Executive Response Department, thanks, no doubt, to the complaint I filed with the Attorney General, the Facebook Note I posted with tags to politicians, journalists, and activists, and perhaps to my posts to the Student Life discussion board. Now I am getting VIP treatment, and at least I have not been locked ouf of my home, unlike many others. Even press attention and protest demonstrations may not be enough to prevent this from happening, even if one has an agreement in writing. Please see Leslie Parks’ case, in Minneapolis: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=184628686503&ref=mf How many homeless folks live in our neighborhood, who have no such press and charitable attention?

    Unless you escalate, they will not escalate your case. Based on my experience, that is my best political advice. The best legal advice I have been given is, “Do not trust them.” I would prefer to trust. Can we?

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com Jerome Bauer

    Thank you very much, CitiMortgage, for repeatedly “losing” my agreement, and trying to charge me late fees and penalties, and trying to go back on an agreement that I have never received. I sent the first payment, on the advice of your Executive Response department (CEO). Thank you for this courtesy. Now please stop playing games. I am not the only one to whom this is happening. We smell a rat. Why are we taxpayers bailing you out?

  • 08 Alumni

    I understand that you aren’t supposed to be hostile to someone who clearly ranks as one of the most important people interviewed in Stud Life, but don’t you think you could have asked a question that might have done more than ask about the job market?

    He is a CEO not a career counselor.

    What about asking him how he can justify paying out such huge bonuses in the face of increasing unemployment and one of the worst economic downturns in our nation’s history?

    Or what he thinks should be done in order to prevent this kind of crisis from occurring again?

    This isn’t an overt and blind attack on the quality of the reporting (I am happy to see you even scored an interview), but rather a recommendation: when presented with an opportunity to ask significant questions you run with it instead of lobbing soft balls to one of the (arguably) most powerful men in the country.

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com Jerome Bauer

    “Pandit was in town to announce preliminary third-quarter results of Citi’s foreclosure prevention activities in Missouri.” Good job, CitiMortgage Loss Mitigation Department, for tearing up your “Making Home Unaffordable” proposal, and redoing it, on your own initiative. We taxpayers are getting some value for our our money. If we are very lucky and talk to the right people, we may get to keep our homes.

    I filed a complaint against this company with the Missouri Attorney General, forwarded to the federal government, which has jurisdiction.

    Lecturer Dr. Jerome “riff-raff” Bauer
    STILL a local homeowner, taxpayer, and WashU neighbor…