Geithner sees HAMP as a helpful aid in repairing housing
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended the embattled Home Affordable Modification Program during testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. While speaking to the panel, Geithner said HAMP is "one of several critical home ownership assistance programs under our Making Home Affordable initiative." The program has helped "more than 630,000 families stay in their homes," he said. Geithner also touted HAMP as a driver of industry standards, saying the program has developed a framework for other homeowner assistance providers to use across the country. "By setting affordability standards and providing a framework for homeowner assistance that the private sector can follow, HAMP has also driven industry improvements that have resulted in 2 million additional modifications outside the program," he said. Geithner's defense of HAMP comes at a time when the program is facing enormous pressure from lawmakers who say the program has failed in its goal of modifying millions of mortgages and is taxing to an already debt-laden budget. The House of Representatives voted in March 252-170 to terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program roughly two years early. Write to Kerri Panchuk.