Release No. 071614-20
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 – more commonly known as the “GI Bill.”
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is marking the anniversary by offering financial foreclosure prevention help to veterans attending school under the GI Bill. It is a second step in less than a year to make the Agency’s successful NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund more user-friendly for the state’s important military population. Earlier, it ensured that returning veterans enrolled in vocational training or rehabilitation programs would be eligible.
Designed to help North Carolina homeowners recover from job loss and other temporary hardships, the Fund has made mortgage payments for more than 16,000 homeowners while they look for employment or retrain. Funds are available to assist an additional 4,000.
Making the foreclosure assistance available for veterans is particularly important in North Carolina, which is home to 10 percent of all active-duty military personnel in the U.S. (115,000, the most per-capita of any state) and more than 771,000 veterans.
“The transition from military to civilian life can be a challenge,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the NC Housing Finance Agency. “It’s especially important that veterans be able to participate fully in these foreclosure prevention benefits. Our agency is working closely with the VA and veterans groups across the state to make sure military families know that help is available for those who need it.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund makes mortgage payments for up to 36 months ($36,000) while the homeowner looks for work or completes a job search or training program. It was created in North Carolina in 2010 because of high unemployment, which continues to exceed the national average in three-quarters of North Carolina counties.
The assistance is offered as a zero-interest, deferred loan, with no payments due as long as the homeowner lives in the home. Veterans who study on the GI Bill or participate in a VA-approved vocational training program are eligible for the maximum 36 months of assistance, as long as their mortgage payments exceed 25 percent of their household income.
To qualify for assistance through the Fund, a veteran must be separated from service on or after Jan. 1, 2008, provide a DD214, have a VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility for the GI Bill and provide proof of enrollment in school or a vocational retraining program. Homeowners do not have to be delinquent on mortgage payments to qualify.
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.