Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee said they will push for a vote next Thursday on bills that would end four government programs that are aimed at helping prevent foreclosures.
Among the programs on the chopping block include the Home Affordable Modification program, which was created to help struggling home owners reduce mortgage payments by offering lower interest rates and longer repayment times. The Treasury Department recently acknowledged that HAMP will fall short of meeting its original goal of preventing 3 to 4 million foreclosures; it’s expected to complete 700,000 to 800,000 loan modifications.
Other smaller programs at risk are aimed at refinancing loans, helping unemployed home owners, and aiding state and local governments in buying foreclosed properties in order to sell or rent them.
Committee chairman Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., says the foreclosure prevention programs haven’t had much impact and, in some cases, actually are doing more harm than good in helping struggling home owners.
The Obama administration argues that killing the programs will hurt home owners.
The administration remains committed to reaching eligible home owners to give them every opportunity to avoid foreclosure and will continue working to make our programs as effective as possible, said an Obama administration spokesperson.
Source: “House Committee to Vote on Bills Ending Obama Foreclosure Programs,” Dow Jones (Feb. 24, 2011); “Obama Admin. Says Committed to Helping Homeowners,” Reuters News (Feb. 24, 2011); and “House Committee to Write Bill Ending Embattled Program for Preventing Home Foreclosures,” Associated Press (Feb. 24, 2011)