Tags: Treasury | foreclosure | homeowners | filing

TARP Inspector General: Treasury Department Sitting on Foreclosure Help

By    |   Thursday, 31 October 2013 08:04 AM

A multi-billion dollar federal program aimed at helping American homeowners avoid foreclosure has managed to get only 22 percent of its funds deployed after three years of effort, a new report shows.

In an inter-agency skirmish, a report from the Office of the Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) takes the Treasury Department to task for failing to set measureable goals for the $7.6 billion program.

The program was originally designed to help 550,000 people, but that goal has now been reduced to 370,000 — but, in fact, only 127,000 homeowners have actually received assistance.

Editor’s Note:
Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

"They just keep lowering the bar," Christy Romero, special inspector general, told USA Today. States are still struggling with foreclosures and "Treasury hasn't gotten in there to figure out what's wrong."

Not so, the Treasury says, noting that in the year ended in June, twice as many homeowners were helped than in the year previous.

"We are seeing a much faster ramp up," Timothy Massad, an Assistant Secretary of Treasury, told USA Today.

The program is intended to help homeowners in 18 states and the District of Columbia avoid foreclosure, mostly with help to pay mortgages while they are unemployed or underemployed.

Massad said estimates of the number of people who would be helped has changed as the housing market has improved. Treasury has helped various states launch 60 "Hardest Hit" programs, including recent efforts to use funds to battle blight caused by vacant homes.

The Times reported that California received an allocation of nearly $2 billion from the program, but as of June 30 had disbursed only 19 percent of the money.

Evan Gerberding, spokesperson for Keep Your Home California, said part of the problem is that many homeowners are still unaware the Treasury assistance program exists.

According to data from RealtyTrac, the foreclosure picture in the United States is showing slow improvement from its worst days.

One in every 348 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing in the third quarter, the firm said.

Foreclosure filings were down 27 percent from 2012, but up 2 percent from the second quarter.

In the third quarter of this year, national foreclosure activity fell to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2007, RealtyTrac estimated.

Most of the worst markets are in Florida. RealtyTrac said Port St. Lucie, Fla., where one in 83 homes are in foreclosure, tops the list, followed by Jacksonville, Fla., with one in 96 homes in foreclosure and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, with one in 101 homes in foreclosure.

Editor’s Note: Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

Related Stories:

TARP Audit: Housing Recipients Re-Defaulting in Alarming Numbers

Homes Entering Foreclosure Process Slow to Near 8-Year Low

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A multi-billion dollar federal program aimed at helping American homeowners avoid foreclosure has managed to get only 22 percent of its funds deployed after three years of effort, a new report shows.
Treasury,foreclosure,homeowners,filing
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2013-04-31
Thursday, 31 October 2013 08:04 AM
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