Washington, DC – March 11, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Congressman Westmoreland joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues in the House to terminate the Federal Housing Authority Refinance Program Termination Act. In March 2010, without an act of Congress, the Obama administration announced the creation of the FHA Refinance Program to refinance underwater loans into the FHA using $8 billion in TARP funds. As of February 3, 2011 – almost one year into the program – only $50 million had been disbursed and only 44 loans have been refinanced.
“After almost a year, this program has helped a mere 44 homeowners and had only 245 applications submitted,” stated Westmoreland. “This is a prime example of a government program filled with so much red tape and bureaucracy that it’s completely ineffective. And with a price tag of more than $1 million per refinanced home loan so far, the cost of this program clearly does not justify the results.”
In addition to terminating the program, the legislation also redirects the unspent money from the FHA Refinance Program – approximately $7.5 billion – back into the federal treasury to pay down the national debt. As of this month, the national debt has topped more than $14 trillion, almost equivalent to the size of this country’s entire economy.
“The American taxpayers are sick and tired of the White House using the TARP bailout funds as a slush fund for whatever program they so choose,” stated Westmoreland. “This is absolutely not what the TARP fund was created for and is a dramatic overstep of the president’s executive authority. The program was wasteful and unsuccessful in its attempt to help homeowners and it should be terminated and these funds returned to the federal treasury to begin to pay down our overwhelming debt.”
The legislation passed the House by a vote of 256 to 171. It will now be sent to the Senate. Congressman Westmoreland sits on the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over this issue.
Leslie Shedd 202-225-5901