Federal Help Slow to Homeowners

October 29, 2013
USA Today 
mortgage lending news

Three years after the Hardest Hit fund launched, only 22 percent of the money set aside to help homeowners dodge foreclosure has been disbursed. A report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program also noted that the $7.6 billion federal initiative, initially slated to help nearly 550,000 borrowers, now is likely to reach only about 370,000.

As of June, 127,000 had received assistance -- primarily through money to help homeowners pay their mortgages during a period of reduced income -- but special inspector general Christy Romero said the 18 states participating in the program, along with the District of Columbia, continue to struggle. However, the Treasury Department -- which administers the Hardest Hit fund -- said that while it took some time for participants to develop their individual programs, it has helped them to launch 60 different initiatives. In addition, it said the number of homeowners who received aid during the 12 months ended in June is more than twice as many as in the previous 12-month period. "We are seeing a much faster ramp up," according to Treasury Assistant Secretary Timothy Massad.

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