Republicans Introduce Bills to Kill HAMP

March 11, 2011 (Chris Moore)
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U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Bob Corker (R-TN), both members of the Senate Banking Committee, and Tom Coburn (R-OK), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, have introduced legislation in the Senate to end the Housing Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Meanwhile, over in the House of Representatives, HR 839, the HAMP Termination Act, and HR 861, the NSP Termination Act, were both approved by the House Financial Services Committee and have been forwarded for consideration by the House.

“Congress should move swiftly to end the President’s disastrous mortgage program. It has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to big banks and Fannie Mae while taking struggling homeowners on a wild goose chase as foreclosures increase,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). “My office has heard from numerous South Carolina families who went to HAMP for help, but after months of false promises and mountains of paperwork they were left in worse financial shape. HAMP is just the latest failure of President Obama’s big government experiments. HAMP has not even reached ten percent of its intended goal of helping seven million American homeowners modify their loans, but it has succeeded in pushing hundreds of thousands of other Americans closer to foreclosure and personal bankruptcy.”

Under HAMP, more loan modifications have failed than have been successful. Out of 1,466,500 temporary modifications, more than 792,500 have failed, a failing rate of 54 percent. The program was originally intended to help 7 to 8 million homeowners.

However, most experts believe that the bills have little or no chance of passing in the Democratic controlled Senate. President Obama has already announced that he would veto any bill that would end any of the government’s assistance programs.

But Republicans are determined to push for an end to these programs because they say they show overwhelming poor results.

Arguing against the FHA Short Refi program Thursday, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) said the program will not reach a large percentage of the 11 million borrowers currently underwater.

“That means that even if this program could have helped 100,000, it would have helped one out of 120,” Bachus said. “Yes some government employees would say you’re eligible, you win. But that isn’t fair for those who don’t receive help and still have to pay for it.”

Tags: Republicans, HAMP, mortgage programs, failures, loan modifications, government assistance programs, underwater borrowers