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Burt Carlson: Permanent fix
Burt Carlson: Permanent fix
Burt Carlson with his wife, Lydia Montgomery, at their home in Phoenix.
For Burt Carlson, the path to a lower mortgage payment was relatively easy.

A mortgage consultant who saw his income plummet in recent years, Carlson first turned to the Hope for Homeowners program, which was set up last year to assist troubled borrowers lower their principal and monthly payments.

But his fortunes improved when he was put into a trial modification in the spring that lowered his monthly payments on his primary mortgage to $1,075, down from $1,665.

Carlson, whose home has lost nearly half its value since he bought it three years ago, learned earlier this month that he received a permanent modification that lowers his interest rate to 2% for five years, making his monthly payment only $944. The rate slowly rises until it hits 5.125% in year nine, where it is frozen for the next 31 years.

"I am thrilled and grateful that the process is finally over after starting this effort about a year ago," he said. "It was a little bumpy at the outset, but I have absolutely no complaints."

NEXT: Jose Rivera: Still waiting

Last updated October 24 2009: 8:56 AM ET
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