(03/18/2011) Federal foreclosure assistance programs have cost taxpayers billions of dollars while providing only limited results, and consequently have faced scrutiny from Congressional lawmakers. However, the U.S. Department of the Treasury still believes it has been helpful.
Acting Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Massad recently told Congress that programs like the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) have been unfairly criticized by Republican legislators, according to a report from Reuters. In particular, he noted that the most common evidence that is used to show HAMP has failed is its inability to stop the foreclosure crisis.
Another common criticism of the program is that it's often too difficult to qualify for. For troubled consumers who cannot receive government assistance, it may be wise to seek a refinance instead. By checking the latest online rate tables, consumers can find the best local mortgage rates to save hundreds of dollars a month on their home loan payments.
"We acknowledge that our housing programs have not been without criticism, and that housing is an area where there is still much work to be done," Massad told lawmakers. "It is important to remember that the program was not intended to prevent all foreclosures."
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