Citigroup Jumps Before the Bell on Participation in Second-Mortgage Modification Program

Shares of Citigroup (NSYE:C) are trading 2.9% higher to $4.27 premarket Thursday after the bank said it plans to participate in the second-mortgage modification program as part of the government's Home Affordable Mortgage Program.

Citi joins several of its peers, including Bank Of America (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), in committing to the program, which works with HAMP to lower homeowners' payments on first and second mortgages.

"It is our priority and commitment at Citi to help homeowners in need," said Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, "The 2MP program will further improve the affordability on mortgages and help families facing financial distress stay in their homes."

Citi said it has helped over 825,000 families avoid foreclosure since 2007.

Also providing a boost to Citigroup shares is news that the Treasury will not sell its entire stake in the bank at once, instead opting to sell its position very slowly over time.