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Banks give money for keeping a foreclosed house looking good

Some banks will pay you if you keep your foreclosed house in good condition. That includes things like  mowing your lawn and keeping your toilets and countertops spick and span.

Seattle-area Real Estate Appraiser and educator Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that some lenders offer in the neighborhood of $2,000.00 to ex-homeowners  for keeping foreclosed property looking neat and tidy. 

Although not widespread, Hagar says it's worth checking into these "incentive programs" with individual lenders. Bank of Americais one of the banks that has offered incentives to delinquent borrowers. But more common, he says, are government sponsored programs such as HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program).

"That federal program provides borrowers who are going through a foreclosure with a variety of financial incentives including $3,000 for relocation assistance, as well as favorable terms on short sales (selling property for less than the amount of the mortgage)."

Other foreclosure assistance programs include The Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act Mediation Programwhich is designed to help the borrower and the lender reach a fair, voluntary and negotiated agreement.

And if you think you might be a victim of a foreclosure rescue scam or loan modification fraud, Hagar encourages borrowers to file a complaint with the Washington Attorney General's Officeor the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.

Street Cents” is a monthly feature exploring real estate trends in the Northwest. The feature is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 on the first Tuesday of the month during Morning Edition, All Things Considered and on Weekend Saturday Edition. 

John Maynard started working in radio in the seventies as a DJ at Seattle’s KJR AM which at the time was the dominant AM station in the Seattle market. After a brief stint as a restaurateur and night club owner, Maynard returned to radio with Robin Erickson, creating the hugely popular “Robin and Maynard Show.” In the more than 20 years under that marquee, Maynard flew with the Blue Angels, piloted the Goodyear Blimp, sang with Donny Osmond and hung out in a Universal Studios bar with Kojak (Telly Savalas).