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Tag Archives: Congressional Oversight Panel

FHA to Take First Ever Bailout

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will be accepting a bailout of more than $1 billion to make up for losses sustained from the agency's legacy books and its reverse mortgage program. Following reports last week that FHA's financial situation would require a Treasury draw in the neighborhood of the Obama administration's $943 million forecast, Commissioner Carol Galante revealed in a letter to the Senate Banking Committee that the agency is taking an appropriation of approximately $1.7 billion.

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CFPB Director Outlines Proposals for Mortgage Lending Reform

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), laid out the agency's aims to reform mortgage lending standards before a Congressional subcommittee Tuesday. Speaking before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services, and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs, Cordray acknowledged that although the Dodd-Frank Act has had a hand in improving most consumer lending markets, tight mortgage lending standards have kept creditworthy borrowers out of homes.

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TARP Special Inspector General’s Report Says HAMP is Failing

In his report to Congress this week, Neil Barofsky covered a number of controversial issues surrounding the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) designed by Treasury as a foreclosure prevention effort. Barofsky says HAMP ""continues to fall dramatically short of any meaningful standard of success,"" and he faults servicers for compounding the program's problems with unnecessary delays and mishandling of paperwork. Barofsky is the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which funds the HAMP initiative.

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HAMP Will Fall Short of Goal with Only 700K Helped: Report

The Obama administration's signature foreclosure prevention program will help only 700,000 Americans save their homes, according to a scathing report released Tuesday by the Congressional Oversight Panel. The group's assessment falls far short of the 3 to 4 million homeowners that the president pledged would receive more sustainable mortgage loans when the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was launched in March of last year, and is well below the 8 to 13 million foreclosures expected by 2012.

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Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Robo-Signing

The industry's robo-signing problems were the focus on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Executives from major banks, including BofA and Chase, were on hand at a Senate Banking Committee hearing to defend the validity of their foreclosure actions and detail changes that have been made to ensure the integrity of the process. But lawmakers were hardnosed and unforgiving in their accusations. And the hearing was not without incident. Testimony was interrupted by the CEO of a nonprofit advocacy group yelling for distressed borrowers to get their say.

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Has HAMP Struck Out Looking?

Perhaps it was eager anticipation of the World Series kickoff, but Sen. Ted Kaufman's baseball analogy at a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday clearly put into perspective a key defect of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) - a defect that watchdog groups and market observers have been lamenting for months now. And that is, Treasury's back-peddling of how many homeowners the program will actually help. ""What matters is not how often you swing the bat, but how often you reach the bases,"" Kaufman said.

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Congressional Panel Sees Conflicts of Interest from TARP Contractors

The Congressional Oversight Panel has ""significant concerns"" related to accountability and conflicts of interest because of Treasury's extensive use of private contractors to carry out functions for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), particularly foreclosure prevention efforts. The largest TARP contracts were awarded to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie alone employs 600 workers on TARP's foreclosure programs, while Treasury has only 220 staffers working on all TARP programs combined.

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Obama to Name Warren to Start Up Consumer Protection Bureau

The big news coming out of Washington today -- President Obama will hold a special press briefing Friday to name Elizabeth Warren to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She won't be nominated to fill the role of the bureau's chief, as has been widely expected, at least not yet. Instead, she'll be appointed assistant to the president and special advisor to the secretary of the Treasury. She'll head a steering committee responsible for getting the new agency, which will oversee mortgage lending, up and running.

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