It sounds like the next federal incentive program -- instead of offering taxpayer funds for new car purchases in exchange for that old gas guzzler, this one promises cash for those inefficient, outdated and nonperforming mortgage loans. There's only one, small difference: This cash is not from the government. And neither is the program. American Homeowner Preservation (AHP) is coining a phrase from recent federal stimulus efforts with its “Cash for Clunkers Mortgages” promotion. Cincinnati-based AHP began as a non-profit in 2007, pairing distressed borrowers with investors. It became a for-profit in 2009 and facilitates residential property short sales and leases the home with the option to sell back to the previous owner of the property. In the mortgage "Cash for Clunkers" program, AHP will purchase non-performing mortgages secured by single-family and two- to four-unit multifamily properties from lenders, in single and bulk quantities. The promotion began Monday, and AHP said it is targeting charge off mortgages, those secured by low-value homes and mortgages owned by borrowers in bankruptcy or litigation. AHP said it will make bids on solicited mortgages within 48 hours and can close deals within three to four weeks. It may sound like the latest federally-backed incentive program, but the "Cash for Clunkers Mortgages" promotion is one of a myriad of programs that take their names from government initiatives with similar titles. The names invoke a sense of comfort in an implied government backing but are instead privately offered goods or services in no way connected with their namesake programs. Write to Austin Kilgore.