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USDA to help thousands of rural homeowners

USDA to help thousands of rural homeowners in 19 states who are underwater on their mortgages By The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) ' Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit Florida to promote a nationwide Department of Agriculture pilot loan program that could help tens of thousands of homeowners in 19 states.

Vilsack is scheduled to meet with lenders, public officials, and community leaders in Orlando on Friday. He'll discuss the program, which allows underwater homeowners in rural areas to refinance their homes with lower interest rates. The homeowners must have either a direct loan with the USDA or a USDA guarantee on a commercial bank mortgage.

Officials say the new program will cut through red tape normally seen with bank refinancing and save borrowers hundreds of dollars a month. To be eligible, borrowers must have made their mortgage payments on time for 12 consecutive months.

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Related Keywords:Rural Housing,Personal loans,Personal finance,Business,Real estate


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