I-Team: New Program Offers Help to Underwater Homeowners - 8 News NOW

I-Team: New Program Offers Help to Underwater Homeowners

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LAS VEGAS -- The state of Nevada has $150 million to help underwater homeowners to keep their houses, but the state is saying: don't call, us, we'll call you.

There are several mortgage assistance programs, including the Federal Hardest Hit fund, which started in 2010, the Home Again Nevada program from the attorney general's office and the new Home Means Nevada program from the governor's office.

8 News NOW hosted multiple phone banks last year, telling viewers how they could get help with the federal Hardest Hit Fund.

It worked so well that the Hardest Hit Fund had to stop taking new applications for mortgage assistance for several months. However. they have given out less than half of the $200 million federal dollars they received.

Nevada's attorney general started the Home Again Nevada program. It acts as a switchboard, getting Nevadans their share of the national mortgage settlement.

Now, Gov. Brian Sandoval is starting the Home Means Nevada program.

"So this is a great opportunity, and I'm really excited about it. As I said, Nevada, we are trying to think outside of the box the status quo is not acceptable," Gov. Sandoval said.

Ed Dickinson used to be a mining executive in northern Nevada. Now, he manages a taxpayer dollar gold mine in the $150 million fund, which is mostly from the federal government, meant to reduce the principal Nevadans own on their homes.

But there are a lot of catches.

First, the homeowner must have an FHA-backed loan. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac customers are not eligible.

Second, the homeowner has to be three months late on their loan payment.

"We certainly do not encourage anyone to do anything to be in a delinquency status. That is not the objective of the program. It is to help those who may unfortunately be in that status now, " Dickerson said.

If FHA picks your loan for help, you will get a call from a state housing counselor and if you meet several other eligibility factors, you could get your home refinanced, knocking off thousands from the amount you owe.

Dickinson says it is too early to tell how many homeowners they will be able to help with that $150 million.

Governor Sandoval is asking Nevadans to be patient.

"We're working on it right now. I think it's going to be happening within the next three to six months," the governor said.

Do not expect any ads or billboards announcing how you can get your share of that $150 million. The Home Means Nevada program says calling them for help won't do you any good.

They will reach out to you, if you are eligible. For more information on the program, click here to see the state's pamphlet.

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