Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt said the FHA would not continue renewing programs like the Home Affordable Refinance Program without an end, even if the program is extended again before its December 31 expiration date, Wednesday at a HARP outreach event. Watt told reporters after the event in Newark, New Jersey, that HARP was put into place to deal with people who got burned during the housing crisis, but he doesn’t think the program could continue being extended after deadlines forever.
An estimated 3.2 million borrowers have completed a HARP refinance since the program was introduced in 2009, including more than 95,000in New Jersey, according to the FHFA. Borrowers in the state have lowered their monthly mortgage payment by an average of $222per month using HARP. Still, more than 652,000 homeowners nationwide are eligible to for the program. The Newark outreach event was meant to target the more than 20,000 households in New Jersey who are HARP eligible, but roughly only 50 people showed up to the event.
U.S. Representative Randy Neugebauer introduced a bill Thursday intended to replace the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a five-member commission. He announced his plan to support legislation in his testimony at a House Financial Services Committee hearing earlier this week. Neugebauer’s proposal would replace the CFPB director with a bipartisan, five-member commission appointed by the president for five-year terms, with no more than three from a single political party.