The state tomorrow will begin accepting applications from homeowners who are in a financial bind because they owe substantially more for their houses than the properties are worth. A program run by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation has $350 million to distribute to state residents who are paying on mortgages that are at least 125% above their homes’ value.
71 year old Bernard Salzberg says he’ll probably fill out an application. Salzberg says he has a $226,000 mortgage on his house in St. Augustine that last appraised for around $180,000.
“My wife and I are eager to do something different with our lives which would require either selling the house or perhaps renting it, you know? We’ve been very conscientious our whole lives about paying all our debts", insisted Salzberg. "We don’t want to not be responsible on this one, nor do we want to keep paying for something which is worth so much less than what we bought it for.”
If Salzberg is eligible, he could receive as much as $50,000 to pay down the principal on his mortgage.
The state will start taking online applications at 9 tomorrow morning. However, officials say, they will only accept 25,000 forms initially. At least 200,000 Florida homeowners are considered severely underwater on their mortgages.