Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and other Republican lawmakers Friday announced new legislation to end the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
Issa, the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and his colleagues said the Treasury Department's program to help troubled borrowers avoid foreclosure has been a bust.
"HAMP is a colossal failure," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the committee who sponsored the bill, said in a press release issued by the committee. "In many cases, it has hurt the very people it promised to help. It's one more example of why government interference in the private sector doesn't work and that's why it should be repealed."
Issa held a hearing Wednesday in which Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP, described the shortcomings of the program. Treasury initially estimated the program would help up 3 to 4 million at-risk-homeowners avoid foreclosure. But according to Treasury's December report on HAMP, the program had completed only 522,000 permanent modifications.
"Our review and reports by SIGTARP," the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Oversight Panel "all found this program is failing and that Treasury has gone out of its way to hide, rather than address problems," Issa, a co-sponsor of the bill, said in the release. "It's unacceptable that Treasury continues this misguided effort that appears more focused on saving face than helping troubled homeowners."