Homeowners who owe more than their houses are worth could get help from a new state loan refinancing program designed to help areas hit hard by the recent foreclosure crisis.

Homeowners who owe more than their houses are worth could get help from a new state loan refinancing program designed to help areas hit hard by the recent foreclosure crisis.

The program targets people in Jackson and Deschutes counties who have been hit by dropping property values and financial hardships, but could afford a payment at the current value of their home, officials said.

The Loan Refinancing Assistance Pilot Project, through the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative, has the goal of helping more than 300 homeowners in the two counties avoid foreclosure. In the program, a qualifying home is purchased through a short sale and resold to the owner at its current value.

Short sale offers are reliant on the financial institutions that own and service the loans. Prequalification does not guarantee approval.

Visit www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org for more information or email homeownerhelp@hcs.state.or.us.