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Mortgage

8 years later, a look back on TARP

Happy anniversary

The anniversary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Know Before You Owe rule isn’t the only historical mortgage moment that happened on Oct. 3. Today also marks the eighth anniversary of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 becoming law, putting the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) into effect.

In light of the program’s anniversary, Rob Runyan is a spokesperson at the U.S. Treasury Department, penned a quick blog on the success of TARP since it was implemented.

Runyon explained that to date, TARP dispersed a total of $433.7 billion, and as of Aug. 31, cumulative collections under TARP, together with Treasury’s additional proceeds from the sale of non-TARP shares of AIG, total $442.1 billion, exceeding disbursements by $8.4 billion.

The program, as Runyon stated, was once feared to possibly cause taxpayers to lose hundreds of billions of dollars, but it instead generated a positive return.

Runyon spotlighted three clear takeaways from TARP:

  1. TARP was instrumental in turning a collapsing economy around
  2. Treasury disbursed less in TARP support than was initially anticipated and even generated a positive return for taxpayers
  3. TARP housing programs helped millions of Americans get back on their feet after the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression and will continue to help homeowners in the years to come.

That fear, which is well documented in past HousingWire headlines, includes titles such as “Kashkari: Treasury's TARP Faces Long Road Ahead” and “TARP was no win for the taxpayers.”

Now, eight years later though, Runyon reminds people of the positive results of TARP including:  

How the Making Home Affordable program has resulted in nearly 2.7 million assistance actions that helped homeowners avoid foreclosure.

How the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program has provided $7.6 billion in TARP funds in targeted assistance to 18 states and the District of Columbia, which were deemed the hardest hit by the economic and housing market downturn.

However, TARP has run into trouble along the way. Most recently, a report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (also called SIGTARP) found that the state-designated contractor in charge of Nevada’s portion of the government’s Hardest Hit Fund wasted $8.2 million that was designated to pay for the administration costs of the program, all while dramatically cutting the number of struggling homeowners that the program actually helped.

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