Bulk of Mortgage-Related TARP Funds Remain Untouched
By: Krista Franks Brock
When Treasury issued the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008, it designated $45.6 billion for mortgage-related programs.
However, a little more than four years later, when a few of the non-mortgage TARP programs have drawn to a close, more than $40 billion in mortgage relief remains unspent, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GOA).
The three major programs the $45.6 billion was allocated to fund include the Making Home Affordable program with its keystone Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP); the Housing Finance Agency Innovation fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets, or more commonly, the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF); and HUD’s Federal Housing Administration Refinance of Borrowers in Negative Equity Positions, commonly called the FHA Short Refinance program.
With a stated goal of assisting 3 million to 4 million homeowners, HAMP has achieved about 1.1 million permanent modifications as of September 2012. The program will accept applicants until the end of this year.
As a whole, the Making Home Affordable program has spent about $4 billion of the $29.9 billion it was allocated. About $6.5 billion more “could be spent on incentives for HAMP modifications and other MHA interventions that were already in effect as of September 2012,” according to GOA.
That leaves about $19.4 billion untouched.
Treasury allocated $7.6 billion to HHR, of which about $1.5 billion has been dispersed.
Treasury allocated $8.1 billion to the FHA Short Refinance program. Thus far, it has allocated $7.2 million to Citibank in fees for the program.
In a letter to GOA in December, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability, Tim Massad, said “With respect to our housing programs, we have taken significant steps to expand the reach of our programs and strengthen oversight of servicers.”
“Treasury’s housing programs have directly helped over one million homeowners avoid foreclosure and have indirectly helped millions more by setting new standards throughout the mortgage servicing industry,” he added.
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