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New Oregon program to prevent home foreclosures

EUGENE — A new program to prevent foreclosures is expected to give a few thousand struggling Oregon homeowners up to $30,000 to get their mortgages current and have a year's breathing room to stabilize their finances.

The Home Rescue Program is part of an effort by the Obama administration to focus aid to homeowners in places most affected by the housing crash.

The program will provide a year's worth of mortgage payments, up to $20,000, and up to $10,000 to bring mortgages current, the Eugene Register Guard reported.

The program is to be launched Wednesday with the first 100 applications from 33 Oregon counties.

As the online applications are processed, new ones are to be accepted every two weeks, said Benjamin Pray, spokesman for Oregon Housing and Community Services. Applications from the three Portland metro-area counties will be taken later, after the program is up and running.

The program aims to assist about 2,500 homeowners. Applicants have to show their income is at least 10 percent lower than in 2011 or 2012 and meet other eligibility requirements.

As of March 31, there were 30,323 Oregon homeowners more than 90 days late on their payments, said Emily Reiman, a manager at the nonprofit economic development corporation in Springfield that's administering the program in Lane County.

“That doesn't include homeowners who are 30 to 60 days behind, or who are struggling to make a payment that has become unaffordable,” Reiman said.

The program is funded by the federal Hardest Hit Fund, which provided money to 17 states that saw unprecedented home price declines and sustained, higher unemployment after the housing bust. Oregon got $220 million from it.

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Home Rescue Program online: http://bit.ly/11sqJqH

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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