With the state’s unemployment rate continuing to top the national average, a foreclosure prevention loan program especially designed for North Carolina is helping more than 9,000 homeowners who have lost their jobs keep their homes. More than 2,700 families have benefitted just in Charlotte and its surrounding area (including Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties), where a radio campaign promoting the program is being launched this week.
The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund™ pays the mortgage for unemployed workers while they seek jobs or complete job training in a new field. Other homeowners, who have gotten behind because of certain other hardships, such as divorce, may also qualify while they look for work.
The Fund was designed and is managed by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency to help with the state’s economic recovery. It is funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund®.
“So far, the Fund has kept $2.5 billion of property out of foreclosure statewide. It is helping stabilize property values and the local economy in 555 communities—98 counties—across North Carolina,” says A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the NC Housing Finance Agency. In the Charlotte and surrounding area, the loan program has kept nearly $1.7 billion in property out of foreclosure.
The Fund provides assistance at no cost. Launched at the end of 2010, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund is adding 500 new clients a month and is on target to assist 21,000 in the next two to three years.
Mortgage payment assistance is provided as a zero-interest, deferred loan of up to $36,000 or 36 months of mortgage-related payments. After the assistance period, homeowners resume making their own mortgage payments. If the owner continues to live in the home for at least 10 years, the loan is considered satisfied and no repayment is required.
The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund™ also offers zero-interest loans to pay off a second mortgage as a way of reducing the total homeowner’s monthly payment. This can help a homeowner who finds a new job, but at reduced income.
Homeowners do not need to be behind on their mortgage payments to apply for assistance. Eligible homeowners 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. [Editor: Please see list at end for counseling agencies serving Charlotte and the surrounding area.]
For more information, homeowners should call 1-888-623-8631, or go to www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov.
Counseling Agencies Serving Charlotte and Surrounding Area
Alliance Credit Counseling, Charlotte
13777 Ballantyne Corporate Pl., Suite 100
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc.
4601 Charlotte Park Dr.
Cleveland County CDC, Shelby
823 W Warren St.
CCCS of Greater Greensboro
315 E. Washington St.
Community Link, Charlotte
601 E. 5th St., Suite 220
Davidson County Community Action, Inc., Lexington
15 E 2nd Ave.
Financial Solutions of the Carolinas/Family Services, Inc., Gastonia
214 E Franklin Blvd.
Monroe-Union County CDC, Monroe
349 E Franklin St.
Prosperity Unlimited, Inc., Kannapolis
1660 Garnet St.
1400 W Bank St.
The NC Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed nearly 206,000 affordable homes and apartments statewide in the last 35 years. It offers the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund™ with funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund®, which was authorized under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The Hardest Hit Fund®, is available in 18 states and the District of Columbia, which have experienced high unemployment or a steep decline in property values. North Carolina was selected because of the large percentage of the population living in counties with high unemployment rates in 2009.