House Republicans prepare to terminate four federal housing programs

Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) said closing down the programs would help save billions of dollars and have a minimal effect on the housing market, since each of the four have been scarcely used and have been ineffective or even detrimental when they have been used.

"In an era of record-breaking deficits, it's time to pull the plug on these programs that are actually doing more harm than good for struggling homeowners," said Bachus. "These programs may have been well-intentioned but they’re not working and, in reality, are making things worse."

The first bill is the HAMP Termination Act, which would end the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program. Republicans said that while HAMP was meant to help modify up to 4 million home loans, it has only modified 500,000, and many of these fell back into default.

The GOP noted that the administration has only spent $840 million of the $29 billion reserved for HAMP, as well as a government report that said HAMP aid is falling far short of helping homeowners.

The second bill is the Neighborhood Stabilization Program Termination Act, which would end the NSP, a program that funds the repurchase of foreclosed homes. Republicans charge this program creates incentives for banks to foreclose on troubled borrowers.

Thirdly, Republicans want to pass the FHA Refinance Program Termination Act. This bill would end the Federal Housing Administration's multi-billion dollar program, of which only $50 million has been spent.

Finally, House Republicans want to move the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act, which would end the Department of Housing and Urban Development's program of lending money to borrowers who are facing foreclosure. Republicans argue that these loans only add to the indebtedness of borrowers who are not in a position to keep up with their payments.