Nearly half of the mortgages modified in 2009 under the Obama administration's signature homeowner rescue effort are in default again, according to a report on Wednesday that raised concerns about the program's effectiveness.
The report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), the watchdog for the aid effort, said 46 percent of the struggling homeowners who received loan modifications in 2009 under the Home Affordable Modification Program had redefaulted.
The Obama administration launched HAMP in 2009 to aid struggling homeowners impacted by the housing boom and bust. The program, extended in May by two years to help more struggling borrowers keep their homes, draws from the Treasury Department's financial bailout fund and pays lenders and servicers to rewrite loan terms for borrowers who can't make their current mortgage payments.
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"This is a program where there's not enough people being helped," Christy Romero, special inspector general for SIGTARP, told Reuters. "Ultimately, the Treasury needs to make good on its promise that TARP is not just a bailout for the largest financial institutions but it will also help bailout homeowners."