As National Homeownership Month begins, thousands of North Carolinians are still struggling to hold onto their homes due to job loss. These families may find relief, however, through a state-designed foreclosure prevention program that has already helped 12,000 workers who have lost their jobs save their homes. Funding is available to assist another 9,000.
The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund pays the mortgage for unemployed workers while they complete job training in a new field or seek jobs. The assistance is also available to homeowners who have suffered certain other hardships, while they look for work. It is funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund® to support the economic recovery.
“National Homeownership Month is a perfect time to remind North Carolinians about an excellent resource that is available to protect homeownership in our state,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the NC Housing Finance Agency which designed and manages the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund. “Preventing foreclosures helps everyone. The NC Foreclosure Prevention has already kept $1.8 billion in property out of foreclosure, shoring up local tax bases and property values for everyone.”
There is no cost to homeowners for assistance, which is offered in two forms:
- A zero-interest, deferred loan of up to $36,000, paying mortgage and related costs for up to 36 months while the homeowner completes job training or looks for work. If the owner continues to live in the home for at least 10 years, the loan is considered satisfied and no repayment is required.
- A zero-interest loan up to $30,000 to pay off a second mortgage. This can help homeowners who find new jobs at reduced incomes by reducing their total monthly payment to an affordable level.
Homeowners do not need to be behind on their mortgage payments to apply for assistance. They can apply for the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund through one of 40 participating HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide or can apply online at www.NCForeclosurePrevention.gov. Homeowners who don’t qualify from mortgage payment assistance can still access free counseling and help working with their mortgage servicers through a housing counseling agency. For more information, homeowners should call 1-888-623-8631, or go to www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov. [Editor: To Find agencies serving your area, go to www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov/map_contact_counselor.aspx .]
The NC Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed nearly 215,000 affordable homes and apartments statewide since its creation in 1973.