GOOD NEWS, SORT OF: NUTTY GOVERNMENT PROGRAM SHORT-CIRCUITED BY STANDARD GOVERNMENT INCOMPETENCE

Your government to the rescue:

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Your government to the rescue:

The federal government will disburse just $432 million from a $1 billion program to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure, a government official said Thursday.

The rest of the money will return to the U.S. Treasury because the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program has ended, and not enough people were approved in time to receive aid.

The funding provided forgivable loans up to $50,000 to temporarily help unemployed or underemployed people avoid foreclosure in 32 states and Puerto Rico. . . .

HUD started taking applications in June – almost a year after the program was made possible by Wall Street reform legislation – and six months later than HUD first intended. The deadline for HUD to commit the funds was Sept. 30. [Emph. added]

The mind reels! On the one hand, the notion of lending $50,000 to someone who doesn’t have a job is so manifestly dumb that only Congress could have come up with it. On the other, taxpayers should be grateful for HUD’s incompetence. The agency couldn’t rouse itself to take applications for the program until fully a year after it was approved. If HUD had been on the ball, perhaps the full $1 billion would have gone down the rathole. For once, plodding bureaucracy actually saved money for taxpayers. One’s head hurts. . .