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State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project.

North Carolina has a foreclosure assistance program, the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project, and so far this program has helped over 1,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure across the state. Dozens of non-profit agencies and HUD approved counselors partner with the state in an effort to help homeowners. The program has proven effective at stopping the foreclosure process.

This fairly new plan was launched in November to help deal with the wake of hundreds of foreclosures that have occurred throughout North Carolina. The state governor’s office and the N.C. Office of the Commissioner of Banks launched the program as a way to help struggling and subprime mortgage holders. The focus is on borrowers with those types of loans and it should help them slow down or stop the foreclosure process.

The new regulation requires that mortgage companies file formal notices with the state of North Carolina ahead of starting a foreclosure on such loans, and it also allows the commissioner of banks to put the foreclosure process on hold for up to 30 days if it thinks there is a way to prevent it altogether. So it is in effect a moratorium that may provide certain qualified families with additional time to find a solution.

The State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project works closely with nonprofit companies, mortgage servicers, legal aid and other services to help and assist homeowners with their mortgages and it also provides a network of mortgage counselors for homeowners. In total, it has placed more than 3,000 homeowners in contact with mortgage counselors for assistance. One piece of good news is that there were more than 21,000 foreclosures started in North Carolina between January and May of this year, which is down about 9 percent compared to a year earlier, so maybe mortgage foreclosures have peaked in North Carolina.

Who do I contact about the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project?

The program partners with 34 nonprofit counseling agencies across the state and they also work with one national nonprofit phone counseling agency to provide assistance and counseling to homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Assistance is offered in all cities and counties, including Raleigh and Charlotte. Homeowners seeking help can call 1-866-234-4857 toll-free from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.





If for some reason they can’t help you, counselors can even direct people to other programs, such as mortgage forbearance programs and assistance from such banks as Bank of America. So at the very least you can get referrals to other options. Some of the companies that participate in the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project include Legal Aid of North Carolina, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Land Loss Prevention Project, and Pisgah Legal Services.

There are criteria in order to get help. The major guidelines to qualify for the program include having a good credit score and a strong historical employment history. So this is not meant to assist individuals who have carelessly rang up unnecessary debts or who have not been able to maintain some form of past, stable employment.

Mortgage and housing counselors from the state and the non-profits will work with the homeowner and provide free advice and assistance in dealing with their mortgage problems and finances under the North Carolina State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project. Receive information, support, and free guidance from the state.

By Jon McNamara

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