GOP Attacks HAMP Transparency

Two Congressional Republicans have lodged complaints with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, accusing the Treasury of misleading the general public about the success of its Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

Last week, the Treasury's HAMP report showed that 170,207 borrowers have received permanent modifications, with more than 91,000 permanent mods awaiting only borrower signatures. The report also stated that more than 1.3 million borrowers have received offers for trial modifications, bringing HAMP as close as 34% to 45% toward its goal of reaching 3 million to 4 million borrowers by 2012.

Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, objected to that assessment in their March 16 letter to Geithner, a copy of which was posted on the ABC News Web site.

‘HAMP's true goal, as Treasury initially described it, was 3 [million] to 4 million permanent – not temporary – modifications," the congressmen wrote. "Trial mortgage modifications that fail to mature into permanent ones are not in any way "sustainable.' Nor do they "prevent' eventual foreclosure. To now claim that Treasury has always been seeking mere temporary modifications is Orwellian.’

Issa and Jordan additionally pointed out in their letter that HAMP has worsened the financial situations of borrowers who have made trial payments only to subsequently fall out of HAMP.

‘True transparency requires comparability,’ the lawmakers wrote, adding, ‘Treasury's monthly HAMP reports have hindered comparability by repeatedly switching metrics, rearranging tables and changing visual elements.’

Treasury officials could not be reached for comment at the time of this report.



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