The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has helped more than 500,000 struggling borrowers with a median annual income of $46,000 remain in their homes, according to the Treasury Department, which found itself defending the program this week. 

Most HAMP participants are "moderate and middle income, financially distressed homeowners who are 'underwater' on their mortgage," the agency said in a prepared statement. 

The median mark-to-market LTV ratio is 118% on most HAMP loans. 

Obama administration officials originally estimated HAMP would help 3 million to 4 million borrowers facing foreclosures by the end of 2012, but the program has fallen way short. 

Republicans lawmakers are pushing legislation to terminate what they call an "expensive and ineffective" HAMP program along with other homeowner assistance programs.

"Unfortunately, these programs were set up in haste, executed poorly, and have done little to restore stability in the marketplace," said Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., who chairs a housing subcommittee.

The House Financial Services Committee is slated to vote on terminating HAMP on March 3.

In testimony this week Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner said killing HAMP will hurt thousands of homeowners.  

"It would cause a huge amount of damage to a very fragile housing market and leave hundreds and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans without the chance to take advantage of a mortgage modification that would allow them to stay in a home they can afford," Geithner said.

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