RENO, Nevada (8/19/10)--A disagreement between the Nevada Housing Division and some big-bank lenders is placing a new state emergency assistance program for homeowners in limbo, according to local media reports. If banks don’t participate in the program, however, the division will turn to credit unions for help. Nevada was approved in June to receive $102.8 million as part of the $1.5 billion national “Hardest Hit Fund” to help struggling homeowners through mortgage modifications. The division had planned to launch a program in September. Under terms of the program, lenders would match funds from the program with a principal reduction of equal value, said The Reno Gazette-Journal (Aug. 12). Major lenders, such as Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and Bank of America, oppose the principal matching requirement, said Charles Horsey, division administrator. A representative of a state banking group also told the newspaper that the matching requirements would continue to be an item of contention for major lenders. The division is going forward with the program, and if banks don’t participate, Nevada credit unions will, Horsey told the newspaper. “We will concentrate our efforts on mortgages originated by credit unions,” he said. The California and Nevada Credit Union League said it is following the situation to see if there are any credit unions that become involved with the program. Roughly 200 Michigan credit unions are involved with the Help for Hardest Hit Homeowners Fund, which is a program to help struggling Michigan homeowners. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm recently announced an additional $128.4 million from the federal government for the statewide program. The money will be distributed by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority through lenders, such as credit unions, to help homeowners avoid foreclosure (News Now Aug. 18).