Geithner Advises Congressional Panel That Housing Market Remains Weak
In an address before the Congressional Oversight Panel, U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner cautioned that a national foreclosure moratorium would adversely impact housing prices nationwide. Geither was called upon to deliver testimony on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and its impact on the American economy. "The housing market remains weak. We are continuing to support new housing credit and apply downward pressure to mortgage rates through agreements with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," said Geithner. "Our goal remains to help as many eligible homeowners as possible, and along with improvements to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), we are implementing a range of additional programs, including Treasury’s second lien program, which provides a simultaneous modification of the second lien when a first lien is modified; a foreclosure alternatives program for borrowers who don’t qualify for a modification; a principal reduction program; and a forbearance program for unemployed borrowers. Treasury has also allocated $7.6 billion to 18 states and the District of Columbia to tailor localized solutions for borrowers facing unemployment and negative equity."