WASHINGTON - A senior Treasury Department official defended the government's much-criticized mortgage modification program and said it will help millions of homeowners in the next few years.

Housing Market

HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) is on track to provide a second chance for up to three to four million borrowers by the end of 2012, assistant Treasury Secretary Herbert Allison said in testimony prepared for delivery on Tuesday to the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

The committee issued the testimony on Monday.

Allison said housing markets were stabilizing and home prices on a year-over year basis are declining less rapidly, showing the government's efforts to help homeowners were working. (Reporting by Glenn Somerville)