How the housing bill signed into law Jul 30 by President Bush affects homeowners:
All homeowners who do not itemize their income taxes can deduct between $500 and $1,000 from their 2008 federal taxes.
Anyone buying a first home between April 9, 2008, and July 1, 2009, will receive up to $7,500 in federal income tax credits.
The bill includes an estimated $15 billion in housing tax breaks, which became effective Aug. 1.
Homeowners struggling to make payments on high-interest mortgages can contact their banks and transform their loans into government-backed, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
To qualify for the Hope For Homeowners plan, you must have a mortgage debt-to-income ratio greater than 31 percent.
To see if you qualify: Multiply your gross monthly salary by 31 percent.
A homeowner earning $75,000 a year, for example, must owe a monthly mortgage payments of at least $1,938.