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ConsumerWatch: State Program Lowering Requirements For Mortgage Relief

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(CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Underwater California homeowners may soon get some relief. The state-run program Keep Your Home California is changing its rules in effort to help homeowners qualify for a principal reduction of up to $100,000.

The changes would allow homeowners to qualify without a matching reduction from the bank servicing the loan.

“It certainly may make more people qualify,” said housing advocate Elizabeth Letcher.

According to Letcher, the program has been around for a while, but until now homeowners only qualified if the bank servicing the loan agreed to match the principal reduction dollar-for-dollar. The program, which is funded by federal grant money, was intended to help homeowners from losing their home.

“Two years later, but finally they’re making requirements that will disperse money to the people who need it,” said Letcher.

In order to qualify, the home needs to be the owner’s primary residence. Homeowners must owe more than the loan is worth, and owe more than $729,750 on the first loan that was originated before January 2010.

The household income should also fall below the limit of the county. To get more information on eligibility go to Keep Your Home California.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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