Industry NewsMortgage

Shortcomings of foreclosure relief programs are legion

Billions set aside for homeowner relief haven't been spent

Almost nobody reads reports that start with the gobbledygook word "SIGTARP" and run hundreds of pages. Virtually no newspapers give them coverage, and you can totally forget the evening TV news. Which is a shame because the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) assembles more information on how well the federal homeowner relief and foreclosure prevention "stimulus" programs -- the HAMPs, HARPs, HAFAs and other efforts run by the Obama administration -- are performing than any other entity in government. Last week SIGTARP released its latest quarterly report. The numbers are pathetic, given the millions of foreclosures that have forced families out of their houses over the past three years, and given the reality that 11 million-plus owners are still stuck with underwater mortgages. The big banks and AIG all got their federal TARP bailouts. The automakers got theirs. Meanwhile, homeowners heading for foreclosure or bankruptcy on Ma...