TARP funds trickle out to Florida borrowers

For Florida borrowers, the taxpayer-funded program to modify home mortgages affected by the crash has been minimal, according to the South Florida Business Journal, citing a new federal report.

The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) says that 312,000 of the 862,279 beneficiaries who have received aid nationwide since the program was introduced in early 2009 have defaulted again.

The TARP program has spent $7.3 billion to shore up housing, mostly paid directly to loan servicers and banks, with another $31.2 billion not yet been allocated.

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A portion of the TARP aid went to the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF), which funneled money to state housing agencies to finance affordable housing and offer assistance to underwater borrowers.

In Florida, only $166 million, or 16 percent, of the $1.06 billion in HHF funds allocated for the state had been drawn down by the end of March. Of that, SIGTARP said $79 million has been released through government agencies, helping a relatively paltry 7,314 Florida homeowners. [South Florida Business Journal]Emily Schmall