Ore. anti-foreclosure program off to slow start

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A state program to help prevent foreclosures has struggled to efficiently distribute more than $220 million in federal taxpayer money to Oregon homeowners.

The Oregonian newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/JxoNmm ) that the program awarded $1.7 million to 242 homeowners who were later determined to be ineligible for the program. It paid $750,000 to a private company to help homeowners refinance but after more than a year, only 11 mortgages have been refinanced.

Margaret Van Vliet oversees the anti-foreclosure program and says the agency is slowly getting its act together. Gov. John Kitzhaber installed her last October to fix the agency.

Oregon is one of 19 states nationwide to receive money from the U.S. Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund. Oregon got $220 million of the Treasury's $7.6 billion fund.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com