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Home Protection Program Helps Displaced Workers Save Homes

Press Contact Only:
Margaret Matrone, NCHFA, 919-877-5606, 
Connie Helmlinger, NCHFA, 919-877-5607,


With North Carolina’s unemployment rate hovering at 11 percent and large employers such as Dell and Sony Ericsson closing, a state foreclosure prevention program offers hope to displaced workers who face losing their homes.

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. 
                                                                        
“The Home Protection Program provides the only financial help that is available in the state for families who face foreclosure as the result of job loss,” said Lucius S. Jones, chairman of the Housing Finance Agency’s Board of Directors. “By helping families save their homes, the program can have a positive impact on the economy in many communities.”

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 500 families pay their mortgage while they seek jobs or retrain for new ones. In addition:

  • More than 700 homeowners have benefited from a 120-day stay-of-foreclosure
  • $60 million of property has been saved from foreclosure
  • More than 5,000 homeowners have benefited from financial counseling.

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The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed 191,000 affordable homes and apartments in the last three decades, including nearly 80,000 homes for first-time home buyers. To learn more, go to www.nchfa.com or call 919-877-5700 or 800-393-0988.