A statewide foreclosure prevention effort has helped 15,000 North Carolinians who lost jobs start the New Year in their own homes. The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund makes mortgage payments for qualified unemployed workers, including returning veterans, while they look for jobs or complete job training. Funding is still available to help another 6,000 homeowners.
The program is offered statewide by the NC Housing Finance Agency and funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Homeowners seeking new employment after divorce or other hardships may also qualify.
“This has been a huge effort that is benefitting the whole state,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the NC Housing Finance Agency. “Since the end of 2010, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund has saved more than $2.1 billion in property, stabilizing property values and strengthening local economies. All 100 counties have benefitted.”
[Editor: Contact us for numbers of homeowners helped and property values in your counties.]
“The retention rate has been much higher than we could have hoped,” Kucab said. “Of the 15,000 homeowners who received loans, 8,850 have completed the assistance period and are responsible for their own mortgage payments again. So far, fewer than 2 percent of those have ended in foreclosure.”
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 unemployed homeowner seeks or retrains for a job.
- A zero-interest loan to pay off a second mortgage. This can reduce the homeowner’s total monthly payment to an affordable level, and can help a homeowner who finds a new job, but at reduced income.
The NC Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting public agency, has financed more than 221,000 affordable homes and apartments statewide since its creation in 1973.