New Obama Housing Fix: $50K Bridge Loans

There's a new federal program to help delinquent homeowners keep their homes as they grapple with loss of income: Up to $50,000 in an interest-free "bridge" loan for lower-to-middle-income mortgagers to cover past-due and future mortgage payments.

With so many homeowners disheartened by the lack of acceptance into permanent loan-modification programs or being unable to qualify for a refinance due to poor credit, this HUD program may be the answer. It has a nice upside: The loan amount that the qualifying borrower owes through the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program does not have to be repaid for five years, and the amount due declines 20 percent annually if certain conditions are met.