Citigroup Inc (>> Citigroup Inc) mortgage units have been fined $28.8 million for keeping home borrowers in the dark about options to avoid foreclosure and making it difficult for them to apply for relief, the U.S. consumer finance watchdog said on Monday.

CitiMortgage will pay an estimated $17 million to compensate wronged consumers, as well as a civil penalty of $3 million, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said. CitiFinancial Services will refund approximately $4.4 million to consumers, and pay a civil penalty of $4.4 million.

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