Foreclosures of homes have been suspended for 30 days but the action only covers about 4,000 Citi borrowers. While foreclosures are a major piece in the recession pie, there are security implications, too. Cities and law enforcement are now putting pressure on banks, realtors and property managers that own foreclosed properties to keep them up and to secure the areas better. National, regional and local guarding firms such as Securitas Mobile now patrol homes, subdivisions and closed businesses to thwart vandalism, copper theft and other threats.

In the Citigroup announcement, “We want our borrowers to have a much less stressful time, to spend their time with their families during the holidays as opposed to worrying about their homes,” the head of the company’s mortgage division said in a newspaper interview. The suspension means Citi will halt foreclosure sales and stop evicting homeowners from properties it has already seized. The company projects it will help 2,000 homeowners with scheduled foreclosure sales and another 2,000 that were due to receive foreclosure notices.