Bill to kill FHA short refis headed for House vote

Debate on HAMP, National Stabilization Program pushed back

The House Financial Services Committee has signed off on two bills that would scuttle the FHA’s $11 billion short refinance program for underwater homeowners and end emegency bridge loans administered by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department to unemployed homeowners.

HR 830, The FHA Refinance Program Termination Act, and HR 836, The Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act, both sailed through the Republican-controlled committee Thursday on 33-22 votes.

The committee put off until next week a markup session and vote on two other bills: HR 839, The HAMP Termination Act of 2011, which would shut down the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP); and HR 861, the NSP Termination Act, which targets Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding for state and local government agencies to acquire, redevelop or demolish foreclosed properties.

Republican backers say the bills are aimed at cutting wasteful spending in the face of rising deficits. Democrats say the programs they would eliminate are still vital to mitigating the impacts of the housing downturn and foreclosures.