Funds available for struggling homeowners

Florida Housing is reopening a program designed to help homeowners struggling with underwater mortgages.
Jayne Lisbeth and her husband bought the home they plan to retire in just before the housing bubble burst.
Now they're struggling to just stay afloat.
"We do not want to lose everything we've built for 8 years," Lisbeth said.
The reality of Lisbeth's dream home is that she and her husband owe more than it's worth.
She said they never miss a payment. But right now they aren't making a dent on the principal and soon won't be able to afford the projected monthly payments.
Last fall she saw an opportunity to avoid losing her home.
She applied for help through the Hardest-Hit Fund Principal Reduction Program.
She was one of 25,000 applicants to the program that uses federal funds to help homeowners who owe more than their house is worth.
She said they went through a lengthy process hoping for enough money to allow them to refinance.
"We were so thrilled. I can't begin to tell you how happy we were to think that we would receive up to $50,000," she said.
Nearly $102 million went to more than 2,400 homeowners. But with millions left available, the program will once again take applicants.
To qualify you have to be current on your mortgage payment and be a Florida resident. You also must have purchased your home before January 2010. And the home must also be more than 125 percent "underwater."
But even if you meet all the criteria and are approved, the lender has the final say.
Lisbeth was initially denied by her bank.
She even sought help from a U.S. representative and is expecting to hear back Wednesday.
If you would like more information on how to apply for assistance, visit
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