Facing a possible foreclosure is one of the most stressful and overwhelming situations a homeowner can be forced to deal with. Whether you’re actively facing foreclosure or just at risk, North Carolina offers free resources to help.
Mortgage Payment Assistance
If you’ve lost your job, are recovering from another temporary financial hardship that requires you to seek new employment, or are a veteran transitioning to civilian life, you may be eligible for mortgage payment help from the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund while you look for work or complete job training. Assistance is also available if you are re-employed after an eligible hardship but are earning less than before and struggling to pay your mortgage. The Fund is offered by the NC Housing Finance Agency using funds from the US Department of the Treasury. Services are provided by participating HUD-approved housing counseling agencies statewide.
If you are temporarily unemployed as a result of Hurricane Matthew, you may be eligible for mortgage payment assistance from the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund. This includes self-employed individuals whose businesses were damaged or destroyed in the storm or its aftermath.
Free Foreclosure Counseling
Free counseling, regardless of what stage of the foreclosure process you find yourself in, is available through the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project, administered by the NC Housing Finance Agency. Services are provided by participating HUD-approved housing counseling agencies statewide. To get help, call 1-888-442-8188.
If you’ve been contacted by a foreclosure prevention or “rescue” agency, protect yourself from fraudulent practices by keeping these tips in mind:
- Beware of companies or organizations that require payment upfront—this is illegal in North Carolina.
- Avoid companies that want you to make mortgage payments directly to them, or who tell you not to speak with your current mortgage company or to an attorney.
- Don’t trust investors who offer to pay off your mortgage if you sign over the deed to your home. Typically in these scams, the investor then rents your home back to you or another tenant but doesn’t make the mortgage payments, resulting in foreclosure.
- Only trust companies and organizations that have been verified by your local Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
- Get all promises and agreements in writing, and do not sign anything until an attorney has reviewed it.
To report a scam or check out a company, call the NC Attorney General’s Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at ncdoj.gov.