The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund is offered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting state agency, using funds provided by the U.S. Treasury.

NC Home Saver Blog, News & Updates

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Don't Lose Your Home for the Holidays

 

December 20, 2016

 

The holiday season is one of excitement and cheer as you spend time with your loved ones. However, for approximately 1 in 1,500 homeowners in North Carolina, home for the holidays has a deeper meaning as they face the prospect of losing their homes to foreclosure. This year alone, more than 20,000 foreclosures have been filed across the state. If you are facing foreclosure, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund may be able to help. Administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, the Fund can pay your mortgage while you recover from a temporary financial hardship so you can be home for the holidays for years to come. Here’s what you should know so you can protect your home from foreclosure.

 

Programs Offered by the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund

If you qualify, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund has many different programs that can help you keep your home while you get back on your feet:

  • The Mortgage Payment Program (MPP) helps North Carolina homeowners make their mortgage payments during a temporary financial hardship such as a no-fault job loss, divorce, serious illness or death of a co-signor or natural disaster. The program offers zero-interest, deferred loans of up to $36,000 for up to 36 months to cover the mortgage or related expenses while homeowners look for work or train for a new job. This program is also available to eligible military veterans transitioning from military to civilian life.
  • The Principal Reduction Recast/Lien Extinguishment Program (PRRLE) helps those who suffered a temporary financial hardship that caused them to seek a new job, who are now re-employed or have secured a fixed income, but are now earning less and struggling to pay the mortgage as a result. The program can provide a forgivable, no-interest, deferred loan to reduce the principal balance and recast the loan so that mortgage payments are more affordable.

Eligibility Requirements
If you suffered a temporary financial hardship and are temporarily unable to pay your mortgage, you may be eligible for assistance through the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund. You may be eligible if:

  • Your home in North Carolina is your primary residence
  • You currently owe no more than $300,000 on all your mortgages
  • You have lost your job or experienced a reduction in income through no fault of your own or are experiencing a temporary financial hardship
  • Your temporary hardship happened on or before Jan. 1, 2016
  • You are re-employed or have secured a fixed income but are unable to afford your mortgage on your new income
  • You have good mortgage payment history prior to your temporary financial event
  • You are a legal resident of the United States

How to Apply
Assistance is provided through HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide. If you think you might be eligible for the programs offered through the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, contact a housing counselor in a partner agency near you today. You can find a counseling agency and find out if you are eligible by calling 1-888-623-8631 or visiting www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov.

 

If you are facing foreclosure this holiday season, you’re not alone. Contact the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund today to learn more. With help from the Fund, you could have a home to call yours for the holidays for years to come.

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By Madison Fisler Lewis, Communications Specialist, NCHFA



 

NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund Introduces Mortgage Help for Victims of Hurricane Matthew
New Disaster Hardship Category to Help Victims of Natural Disaster Avoid Foreclosure

 

November 29, 2016

 

In early October, Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina, causing widespread flooding, power loss and damage to thousands of homes and businesses. If your home is at risk of foreclosure due to job loss or other temporary financial hardship resulting from a natural disaster, you may qualify for mortgage payment assistance through the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund. The Fund provides mortgage payment assistance to qualified North Carolina homeowners experiencing job loss or a temporary financial hardship that requires them to find new employment. This program is offered by the NC Housing Finance Agency using funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund.

 

Who is Eligible for Help After a Natural Disaster?

Those eligible for assistance from the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund include homeowners whose employment has been interrupted due to the event of a natural disaster (as declared by the state) who are:

  • Unemployed or underemployed
  • Temporarily out of work due to a medical condition
  • Self-employed individuals who have lost income
  • Experiencing the loss of a co-owner or co-borrower
  • Unable to reach their employment if their employer is in an affected area
  • Unable to work due to the temporary closing of a business

What Assistance is Available for Those Affected?

 

Assistance for those whose employment is impacted by a natural disaster is provided as either a one-time mortgage reinstatement of up to $36,000 to bring the mortgage current, or a short-term mortgage payment assistance of up to $36,000 for up to 18 months to pay the mortgage until the homeowner can get back to work or find new employment.

 

What Other Assistance is Available?

 

If you are a North Carolina homeowner facing foreclosure but your financial hardship was not a direct result of natural disaster, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund may still have resources to help you. The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped more than 22,000 North Carolina homeowners keep their homes. The fund may be able to help eligible North Carolinians who:

  • Lost jobs through no fault of their own and are looking for work or retraining for a new career
  • Are experiencing a temporary financial hardship such as divorce, serious illness, or death of a co-signor and must find new employment
  • Lost jobs, are now re-employed or on a fixed income, but are now earning less and unable to afford their mortgage payments
  • Are transitioning from military life to civilian careers

 

How Do I Get Help?


Visit www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov or call 1-888-623-8631 to find out if you may qualify for foreclosure prevention assistance from the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, learn about other options and to find a HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you.

 

What if I Don’t Qualify?

 

If you are not eligible for help from the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund but are facing foreclosure for any reason and have received a 45-day pre-foreclosure notice, you may be eligible for assistance from the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project. If you have received a Foreclosure Help letter from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, please call 1-888-442-8188.

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By Madison Fisler Lewis, Communications Specialist, NCHFA

 

 

Home Ownership Month 2: The Darker Side of Home Ownership

 

June 16, 2016

 

June is Home Ownership Month, and with so many people celebrating by purchasing a new home, it can be easy to forget the darker side of home ownership that many North Carolinians are facing: foreclosure. In 2015 alone, 29,201 foreclosure notices were filed statewide, with many North Carolina homeowners ultimately losing their homes.

 

What is foreclosure exactly? In short, it is the process by which lenders have the legal right to recover their loan by repossessing the mortgaged property and reselling it to recoup their losses. This process usually begins when borrowers miss their mortgage payments.

 

In the United States, one out of every 1,308 households face foreclosure. Many different reasons exist, but the top culprits are divorce, medical difficulty and job loss. While foreclosure is a grim reality for the thousands of North Carolina homeowners who face it, it is not just the homeowners who suffer when a house is foreclosed. Foreclosure can negatively impact the local, state and national economy by lowering property values and slowing the housing market. And the cost is staggering—estimated by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress to be $77,935 per home.

 

If you are a North Carolina homeowner facing foreclosure, the best way to try to save your home is by contacting a HUD approved housing counselor agency. A housing counselor can help you

  • Explore your options, such as selling your home before it is foreclosed on
  • Negotiate with your loan servicer for a loan modification
  • Get help through state and federal programs, including the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund

The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency using funds provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, has helped more than 22,000 North Carolina homeowners keep their homes after suffering an eligible financial hardship through mortgage payment assistance, principal reduction assistance and veteran assistance. The fund may be able to help eligible North Carolinians who:

  • Lost jobs through no fault of their own
  • Lost their jobs, are now re-employed, but are earning less or on a fixed income
  • Are transitioning from military life to civilian careers

If you are facing foreclosure, visit www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov or call 1-888-623-8631 to find out if you may qualify for foreclosure prevention assistance from the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, learn about other options and to find a HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you.

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By Madison Fisler Lewis, Communications Assistant, NCHFA

 

 


Underemployment in North Carolina

 

May 17, 2016

 

As North Carolina continues to recover from the financial crisis, unemployment has steadily decreased. However, not all employment is created equal. As more people continue to enter the workforce, there is one subset of the population that is still quietly struggling: the underemployed.

 

Following the Great Recession, it took until August 2013 for the number of employed North Carolinians to surpass the numbers from before the recession hit in 2008, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Underemployment refers to people who are employed at a job that does not fully utilize their skills and does not meet their financial needs. This could include members of the work force who are overqualified for their full-time positions where their education, talents or qualifications are underutilized part-time workers who would prefer to work full time, but are unable to find full-time employment.

 

According to Low Wage NC, about 18.2 percent of North Carolina’s workforce is overqualified. This group includes recent college graduates who work primarily in retail or hospitality because they can’t find jobs in their profession, as well as established professionals who lost jobs during the economic downturn and had to take new positions.
Those who are underemployed because they are overeducated or overqualified for their current positions face difficulties reaching their basic financial goals. They can be burdened by expensive student debt or debt taken on during the financial crisis, straddled with mortgages that they can no longer afford and may struggle to succeed in an unchallenging work environment.

 

More Hours, Please

 

Part-time employment has surged in the aftermath of the Great Recession. While many part-time employees are seeking full-time employment, many folks are unable to secure it. This subset of the workforce are often called “involuntary part-time employees.”

 

The Labor and Economic Analysis Division has found that less educated workers are more likely to be involuntary part-time employees than those with more education. This demographic is found primarily in leisure and hospitality, wholesale and retail trade, professional and business services, construction and agriculture. The least likely sectors to find involuntary part-time workers include financial activities, public administration, manufacturing, education and health services and information.


Part-time employment factors in to the decrease of unemployment rates in the state, but may give a false representation of the actual job economy. While these part-time employees are certainly contributing to the economy, they may find it difficult to provide for their basic needs with limited hours and low pay, or may be forced to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.


Many involuntary part-time employees were once full-time employees who lost jobs during the recession, or had their hours cut in order to keep their existing jobs. This vulnerable subset of the population may have trouble making rent and mortgage payments as they adjust to pay cuts.

 

What Does This Mean?

 

A large portion of the North Carolina labor force is underemployed, but what does this mean for the state? This means that while unemployment rates are low and more jobs are being added to the economy, many families are still struggling to recover from the effects of the recession. Although these individuals have found employment, they may be struggling to pay their bills, particularly their mortgages.

 

The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, offers help to North Carolina homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments due to job loss, reduction of income or other temporary hardship such as the death of a loved one, divorce or serious illness.

 

If you are unemployed or underemployed through no fault of your own, or if you fall under one of our qualifying life events, we may be able to help you keep your home. Our programs can help you to:

  • Bring your mortgage current with a one-time assistance
  • Pay your mortgage while you look for a new job or complete job training
  • Reduce your principal and recast your mortgage if you experienced a qualifying hardship and are now re-employed but earning less than before or have secured a fixed income.

You may apply for these programs through one of our participating housing counseling agencies statewide. For more information, visit www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov or call 1-888-623-8631.

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By Madison Fisler Lewis, Communications Assistant, NCHFA

 

 

 

North Carolina Receives $224 Million to Help NC Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure


May 3, 2016

 

If you are a North Carolina homeowner struggling to pay your mortgage because of job loss, reduction in income or other temporary hardships, you may be eligible for assistance through the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund thanks to an additional $224 million in funding received from the US Department of the Treasury. The funds were awarded last week to the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, which administers the program, from the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund®.

 

The Fund makes mortgage payments for North Carolinians who have lost jobs through no fault of their own while they seek employment or complete job training in a new field. Others who have gotten behind on their mortgage payments because of divorce, illness or other temporary hardship may qualify for help while they seek jobs to get back on their feet.

 

The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund also assists military veterans who are transitioning to civilian life keep their homes while they retrain for new careers. There is also assistance available for those who have found employment after an eligible hardship, but are now making less, making their mortgage payments unaffordable.

 

The mortgage payment assistance is provided as a zero-interest, deferred loan of up to $36,000, or 36 months of mortgage-related payments. Homeowners will resume making their own mortgage payments at the end of the loan period.


Eligible homeowners who are re-employed but earning less may have their principal balance reduced with a no-interest deferred loan. The mortgage loan is then recast to make the payments more affordable.

 

Regardless of the type of assistance, the loan will be considered forgiven if the owner remains in the home for 10 years and no repayment will be due. Forgiveness of the loan begins after five years, with it being reduced 20 percent a year for years six through 10.

 

Since it was first launched in 2010, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped nearly 22,000 North Carolina homeowners keep their homes while they look for work or complete job training following a financial hardship. With an employment rate of 5.5% still outpacing the national rate of 5%, this additional funding comes as a welcome relief to thousands of North Carolina homeowners.

 

Foreclosure doesn’t just impact the homeowner, it affects the entire community as a whole. Did you know that each foreclosure can cost the community an average of $80,000? In addition to saving nearly 22,000 homes from foreclosure, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped preserve $3.9 billion in property value to date. Through the program, 98% of homeowners avoided foreclosure and resumed their mortgage payments after assistance ended.

 

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage due to a qualifying hardships, don’t let a temporary setback become a permanent loss. Call 1-888-623-8631 or contact a participating, HUD-approved, housing counseling organization in your area today to learn how you can get help from the North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund today.

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By Madison Fisler Lewis, Communications Assistant, NCHFA