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Home Ownership Month: North Carolina Offers Help to Citizens Facing Foreclosure

June is National Home Ownership Month, and while an increasing number of North Carolinians are celebrating by purchasing homes, families who are facing foreclosure have little to cheer. In 2015, there were 29,201 foreclosure filings statewide.

But hope exists. The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency and funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund®, has resources to help North Carolina homeowners keep their homes while they recover from a temporary financial hardship.

“Foreclosure doesn’t just impact homeowners, it affects the whole state,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. “Foreclosures can lower property values, disrupt the state’s economy and impact job creation.”

The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, created in 2010, helps homeowners who have lost their jobs, re-employed homeowners who are earning less than before and military veterans transitioning to a civilian career.

Homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments due to a no-fault job loss or other temporary hardship may be eligible for mortgage payment assistance—zero-interest, deferred, forgivable loans up to $36,000 for 36 months to cover mortgage and related expenses while they look for work or complete job training. This assistance is also available for military veterans looking for work—eligible veterans who are enrolled in certain educational programs receive the full $36,000 to bridge them through school and finding a new job.

Homeowners who are re-employed after a job loss or other temporary hardship but earning less than before and unable to make mortgage payments as a result may be eligible for a forgivable, no-interest, deferred loan to reduce the principal loan balance so mortgage payments are affordable. This assistance is also available for homeowners who have transitioned to a fixed income after a job loss or other qualified hardship.

“So far, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund has kept more than 22,000 homes out of foreclosure, preserving about $3.9 billion in property value,” Kucab said. “A temporary setback doesn’t have to be a permanent loss. We can help keep North Carolinians in their homes to improve the economy and provide a better future for all North Carolina citizens.”

All assistance is forgiven after 10 years in the home at a rate of 20% per year starting in year five. Homeowners do not have to be in foreclosure to seek help. For information, consumers should visit www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov or call 1-888-623-8631.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency that finances affordable housing opportunities for North Carolinians whose needs are not met by the market. Since its creation in 1973 by the General Assembly, the Agency has financed more than 241,000 affordable homes and apartments, totaling $17.2 billion.