WEST PALM BEACH, Florida A program to help struggling Florida homeowners will begin accepting application in February.
The Hardest Hit program targets unemployed and underemployed
homeowners. The money can be used to make mortgage payments for up to 18 months or to make a delinquent loan current. Officials say
the idea is to give people breathing room to focus on getting a job and back on their feet.
The money - which goes directly to the lenders - does not need to be paid back unless the home is sold within five years or the homeowner goes into foreclosure.
Florida received $1 billion for the program from a federal fund aimed at areas that were hardest hit by the real estate bust and low unemployment. Officials estimate they can help about 20,000 Floridians.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)