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GOP wants to end home loan modification programs

Foreclosure headline in a newspaper

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House say federal programs designed to help homeowners in trouble are ineffective and cost too much. So they want the programs to go away. The Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, along with a handful of others, were supposed to help at least 3 million people facing foreclosure. But in reality, far fewer people have been helped.

Meredith Shiner is a reporter at Politico, and she's with us from Washington. Good morning.

MEREDITH SHINER: Good morning to you too.

CHIOTAKIS: So what's the issue with this? What are they discussing as it pertains to these programs?

SHINER: Democrats are arguing that these programs are ineffective because they're being underfunded. But in order to hit 3 to 4 million home goal that they had set for the program, the program would need to be restructured and right now one of the biggest concerns was that the Treasury really isn't working to restructure, has only implemented some of the recommendations to make these programs more effective. But at the same time, half a million people still have their homes today because of this program.

CHIOTAKIS: Why have -- you mentioned a goal of 3 or 4 million -- why have so few been helped with these programs?

SHINER: It's a complicated application process. It is confusing for homeowners sometimes and it's a long process in order to get assistance. And within programs there's a shortage of staff.

CHIOTAKIS: If these programs go away what happens?

SHINER: This obviously a huge, huge issue. A record number of foreclosure notices were served in 2010 -- 2.9 million. So if they do get rid of this program there needs to be some sort of alternative at least that's what Democrats are saying in order to help these homeowners who are loosing their homes and who's mortgages are going under water.

CHIOTAKIS: Meredith Shiner, reporter at Politico. Meredith thanks.

SHINER: Thank you.

About the author

Steve Chiotakis was the host of Marketplace Morning Report until January 2012.

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