State hopes they have 'golden ticket' for troubled mortgages - 8 News NOW

State hopes they have 'golden ticket' for troubled mortgages

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LAS VEGAS -- Nevada homeowners are still among the hardest hit in the nation when it comes to foreclosures, but some help is on the way.

State officials have come up with a plan for how to spend $100 million in mortgage relief funds. The I-Team has learned Nevada has reached a deal with federal housing officials to purchase 450 troubled mortgages backed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. If all goes as planned, hundreds of additional mortgages could be purchased months later.

Eighteen months ago, Governor Brian Sandoval asked the Department of Business and Industry to come up with a way to help Nevadans stay in their homes. A formal announcement was expected on Wednesday.

Homeowners whose mortgages have been chosen will receive a notice contained in a "golden envelope," similar to golden tickets from the movie "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory."

"If you get a golden envelope that says official state correspondence, we hope you don't throw it out and will read it," said Bruce Breslow, the Director of Business and Industry.

"We will use mortgage counselors that are part of the program to discuss opportunities with people whose mortgages we now own, to choose either home retention or rental assistance. If they have no ability to pay, we can get them into rental housing. We will then clean up the home, fix it up, and list it with a realtor and sell it to an owner-occupant, not an investor owner. So someone will put money into it and stabilize that neighborhood," he said.

Nevada will purchase only HUD-backed homes, at least for the time being. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae declined to participate, though Breslow said that could change in the future.

As of now, the state has spent $60 million on the 450 mortgages. Another $40 million has yet to be spent, but only if the state can find banks that will sell mortgages at a "discounted" level.

More information is expected to be available in the coming days.

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