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Foreclosure fund helps 18,000 homeowners

RALEIGH – A statewide foreclosure prevention effort has now enabled more than 18,000 North Carolina homeowners to save their homes since the program began in 2010.

The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund makes monthly mortgage payments on behalf of qualified unemployed homeowners, including returning veterans, while they look for jobs or complete job training. Funding is still available to help about 3,000 more homeowners. The program is offered statewide by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency and funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund program.

In 2014, eligibility was expanded to include returning veterans using the GI Bill to attend school or a qualifying training program, as well as people who are back in the work force but cannot afford their mortgage payments because they are earning less than before. Homeowners seeking new employment after financial hardships resulting from divorce or death of a spouse may also qualify.

“While both the economy and the foreclosure rate have improved in North Carolina, home foreclosures are still occurring in greater numbers than before the Great Recession,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. “There were more than 32,000 filings in North Carolina last year.”

One homeowner who has benefitted is a woman identified by the fund as Kathryn D., a Charlotte auditor whose job was eliminated in 2012. “If I hadn’t found out about the North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund, I would have lost my house, no doubt,” she said. The program helped Kathryn and her husband maintain their home until she found employment in January 2014.

There is no cost to homeowners for assistance, and homeowners do not need to be behind on their mortgage payments to qualify. Assistance is offered in the form of either a zero-interest deferred loan or a zero-interest loan to pay off a second mortgage.

For more information, call 1-888-623-8631 or visit www.NCForeclosurePrevention.gov.

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