In a report issued by Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Obama administration is measuring the performance of the foreclosure prevention program by a questionable standard.
At the program’s launch in February 2009, Obama officials said it would help 3 million to 4 million homeowners. But with only 170,000 borrowers completing the program so far, administration officials now emphasize that the plan’s goal is to merely offer help to those millions.
“Defining success by how many offers are given can reasonably be perceived as essentially meaningless,” Barofsky wrote. Instead, the program’s goal “must relate to how many people are helped to avoid foreclosure.”
In response to the recent criticism, an assistant Treasury secretary, Herbert Allison said that the foreclosure prevention plan’s goals “have not always been precise.” He also went on to say that the new measurement (offers) for the foreclosure prevention program are meaningful because some borrowers who don’t qualify for the modification program will still be able to avoid foreclosure.
The government’s weak stance on preventing foreclosures may also be contributing to the problem. Yes, it is true than many homeowners who are turned down for modifications will avoid foreclosure but it is usually only because they filed bankruptcy, not because of the government’s failed HAMP program. It is an outrage that our government is now using “offers of help” as a measurement of success in this foreclosure crisis. Do they really believe that people are that clueless? The government wasted $75 billion in subsidies in this failed foreclosure prevention program with the promise of helping millions yet only a fraction of that number have even been aided in preventing foreclosure on a temporary basis.