Mortgage fix gets low grade

Published 10:04 am Thursday, February 18, 2010

In most schools, anything less than 60 percent is considered failure. Only the U.S. government could consider 12 percent successful.

But that is exactly what the Treasury Department is trying to feed the American public when it comes to the mortgage relief program launched by President Barack Obama one year ago.

This program was touted to help millions of Americans struggling with keeping alive the dream of home ownership.

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So far, only about 116,000 of the more than 1 million applicants have received the assistance for which they applied.

More than 60,000 families have already withdrawn from the program, many likely struggling to jump through all the hoops or make payments while the process moved along at a snail’s pace.

An even more concerning question is this: How many more Americans have lost their homes because they were simply scared away by a program that appears to be mostly ineffective?

Some will be quick to point out that government had no place getting involved in the first place but that argument is irrelevant at this point.

The key is that the Obama administration announced this as one of its key initiatives to help turn around the economy and it hasn’t come close to meeting expectations.

Now it is time to draft clear plans to cut through all the red tape and make this program work.

That starts with pushing banks and mortgage companies to move quickly.

The mortgage program shouldn’t be viewed as a failure yet, but it has a long way to go just to get a passing grade.