|The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) released on October 28 its latest quarterly report, which includes a section on the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) and incorporates an audit focusing on how many applicants who filed for Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) assistance were granted benefits and how long it took before applicants received assistance. SIGTARP concurrently released a stand-alone version of this audit.
SIGTARP concludes that only 43 percent of HHF applicants are approved for assistance and argues that it has taken too long for HFAs to process many of the applications they receive for HHF assistance. It recommends the Treasury Department establish clear and more stringent performance standards for HFA HHF programs.
The Treasury Department disputed the report’s findings in a letter it sent to SIGTARP. The letter points out that the report does not consider a number of critical factors that affect HHF approval rates and processing time, including applicant eligibility, when applicants file complete information and proper documentation, and servicer response time.
The quarterly report also includes a section with information on the overall performance of HHF programs, including both homeowner assistance and blight elimination initiatives.