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Nevada program would buy underwater mortgages

Nevada program would buy underwater mortgages

By Krista Hostetler. CREATED Feb 9, 2013

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A state agency says it has a bold new idea to help some of the 52,000 Nevada homeowners who are way behind on their mortgage payments.

The Department of Business and Industry is proposing a nonprofit that will use $150 million in national mortgage settlement and federal funds to buy up seriously delinquent mortgages at a discount.

The program would then work with the homeowner to refinance the mortgage.

Agency director Bruce Breslow says nonprofits have more flexibility and may be able to deal with underwater mortgages more easily than banks. Breslow estimates the program could initially enroll 700 to 800 homes.

Nevada lawmakers have asked the agency to write a business plan and could draft a bill in coming weeks to create the program.