WASHINGTON (9/12/08)--House Committee on Financial Services Thursday announced a Sept. 17 hearing to check in on the implementation progress of the newly established Hope for Homeowners program, intended to many thousands avoid mortgage foreclosures. In July, the U.S, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed legislation designed to help at least 400,000 borrowers who are lagging in their payments because of a combination of unaffordable mortgages and falling home prices. The law sets an Oct. 1 effective date for the rescue provisions, which would let the FHA insure foundering mortgage loan for qualified individuals. Just before the bill was signed into law, a spokesperson for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) indicated he believed there was little chance that implementing regulations for the program would be ready by October. However, by the time Bush penned his name to the legislation HUD Secretary Steven Preston expressed confidence that the rules would be ready on time. The committee also intends to review foreclosure mitigation efforts by loan servicers at next Wednesday’s hearing. A witness list has not been released.