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Focus on foreclosure prevention
Initiative aims to save mortgages
Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 6:52 am
by Herbert L. White

The city of Charlotte is partnering with a housing finance agency to raise awareness about foreclosure prevention.

N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund helps homeowners keep their homes while deal with temporary financial hardship such as job loss. The initiative, which has already been used by 2,500 homeowners, makes mortgage payments while participants look for employment or retrains for a new job. The initiative, which has saved $294 million in Charlotte housing from foreclosure, was expanded last year to help veterans make the transition to civilian jobs.

“I support the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund, recognizing the importance of homeownership to the quality of life in Charlotte,” Mayor Dan Clodfelter said in a statement. “June marks National Homeownership Month, and we are excited to celebrate and promote the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund and all efforts to save homeowners from foreclosure in our region.”

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency program, funded by the U.S. Treasury Department, was launched in 2010 and has been used as a model in a dozen other states. Although N.C.’s unemployment rate has declined to 6.3 percent, it exceeds the national average in more than 50 counties, including Mecklenburg, where more than 31,000 were still unemployed as of April 30.

More than 16,000 N.C. homeowners have benefitted from the zero-interest deferred loans, which pays a mortgage for up to $36,000 over 36 months during the job search or retraining.  Funds are available to help 5,000 more applicants. No repayment is due as long as the homeowner continues to live in their home. Loans for mortgage payment and reinstatement are forgiven after 10 years of occupancy.

“Foreclosure hurts everyone—homeowners, their neighbors, and the state’s economy,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.
To be considered, a homeowner must be unemployed or had a reduction of income through no fault of their own, live in the home as their principal residence and have a mortgage balance of no more than $300,000. Candidates must have a satisfactory payment history prior to job loss, and be a legal resident.

 To apply online, go to www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov  or call 1-888-623-8631.


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