Press Contact Only:
Margaret Matrone, NCHFA, 919-877-5606,
Connie Helmlinger, NCHFA, 919-877-5607,
As unemployment in the state remains high, many North Carolinians who have lost their jobs are also struggling to hold on to their homes. A state foreclosure prevention program offers hope to those displaced workers by providing loans to pay their mortgages while they are unemployed.
The Home Protection Program provides zero-interest loans to qualifying homeowners while they are looking for another job or participating in an approved retraining program. The amount and length of the assistance varies based upon homeowners’ circumstances, with a maximum loan amount of $24,000 or 24 months of assistance, whichever is less.
“By helping families save their homes, the program can have a positive impact on the economy in many communities,” said Bob Kucab, executive director of the Housing Finance Agency.
Homeowners apply for assistance through one of 25 participating local agencies, which offer housing counseling and determine whether applicants are eligible for assistance from the loan fund. [EDITOR: See attached list of counseling agencies by county.] Once eligibility is confirmed, the NC Housing Finance Agency will place a temporary stay of foreclosure on the property for up to 120 days.
To be eligible for a loan, homeowners must meet the following criteria. They must:
- Have lost their job due to changing economic conditions within the last two years
- Have a mortgage that is secured by real property
- Have had a stable employment and credit history prior to losing their job
- Be a legal resident of the U.S. who owns property in North Carolina that is the principal residence.
Repayment of the loan is deferred for 15 years, unless the home is sold, refinanced or is no longer the principal residence of the owner.
The General Assembly created the Home Protection Program in 2004 through collaboration with the NC Housing Finance Agency, the NC Justice Center, and the NC Housing Coalition. Since then, the program has helped more than 600 families pay their mortgage while they seek jobs or retrain for new ones. In addition:
- More than 850 homeowners have benefited from a 120-day stay-of-foreclosure
- $78.5 million of property has been saved from foreclosure
- More than 5,000 homeowners have benefited from financial counseling.
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed 196,000 affordable homes and apartments in the last three decades, including nearly 81,000 homes for first-time home buyers. To learn more, go to www.nchfa.com or call 919-877-5700 or 800-393-0988.