Hundreds helped by state foreclosure-prevention program

Posted October 7, 2009

— More than 2,000 North Carolina homeowners have avoided foreclosure through the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project during the last 10 months, officials said Wednesday.

Also, more than 700 homeowners statewide have taken action as a result of the Fight NC Foreclosure campaign launched last month, officials said.

”Foreclosures don’t have to happen,” Mark Pearce, the state's chief deputy commissioner of banks, said in a statement. “Calling our free hotline may be the difference between a foreclosure and keeping your home.”

Under a state law adopted in late 2008, lenders must provide homeowners and the state banking commissioner 45 days' notice before filing a foreclosure action. The law also allows the banking commissioner to extend any foreclosure-filing notice period by 30 days.

The state uses that window to negotiate with the homeowner and mortgage holder on modifying loan interest rates and payments so that people can stay in their homes.

Foreclosure filings in North Carolina are up 10.6 percent this year, officials said. According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, nearly three-fifths of foreclosures in the state occur on mortgages where homeowners have good credit.

Officials said the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project has helped prevent 2,040 foreclosures and provided foreclosure prevention and budgeting advice to more than 6,000 homeowners. Officials said avoiding those foreclosures saved the financial system and neighboring property values from losses estimated at $175 million.

By using 34 nonprofit counseling agencies across the state and one national nonprofit phone counseling service, the program has prevented foreclosures in 97 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, officials said.

Fight NC Foreclosure is an expansion of the program that involves a network of state agencies, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-certified counselors, legal service providers and nonprofit organizations. The public awareness campaign highlights a toll-free number, 1-866-234-4857, that homeowners needing free foreclosure assistance can call.


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  • superman Oct 7, 2009

    rescuefan-- if you havent already done that -- you should get started soon. Why have you waited so long? Sorry, I was looking at it from a different prospective. My house is probably worth 250,000 and it is paid for and so are my three cars. Dont have any unpaid credit cards either. Dont owe anyone except my monthly bills. The value goes up and down as the market rises and falls-- and final note-- it is only worth what someone else is willing to pay!

  • rescuefan Oct 7, 2009

    "The value of your house is not of any importance unless you are going to sell it so a foreclosure down the street has no bearing at all.

    Unless you want to refinance it to take advantage of lower rates. You have to have some value in your house to do that. I care what the value is of my house, whether I am getting ready to sell it or not.

  • Sidekick Oct 7, 2009

    First, there was help for people that could not afford the house (subprime loans backed by Fannie Mae). Now, since foreclosure procedings are upon them, there is help to fix that too. So, if they still can't afford the house and don't make payments, what then? I guess the government will just 'bail out' these people and give them the house. What a deal!

  • superman Oct 7, 2009

    If people lose their jobs or purchased a home more expensive than they can afford-- just what does this program do? The only thing that would really help is to just give them a house. If you get behind a couple thousand dollars on your house -- you would never get caught up-especially if you do not have a job. The value of your house is not of any importance unless you are going to sell it so a foreclosure down the street has no bearing at all.

  • cam7002 Oct 7, 2009

    Makes me ill that someone would think that people NOT losing a home stinks because someone wants to make a buck. The fact is that every foreclosure affects every homeowner in the neighborhood, the bank, the borrower. The most prudent solution -- the most economically prudent solution -- is to make the loan work. Foreclosure costs more for the bank, too. As for "yet thousands of others pay", yeah, and millions of others have no cancer, didn't get robbed, raped, killed, etc. What significance to the story is it that thousands of others are paying their own mortgages?

  • wolfpacker93 Oct 7, 2009

    "this stinks, I am looking for cheap properties."

    This is nothing compared to the gazillion properties that should be in foreclosure that are not because the banksters don't want to book the losses. It is massive fraud on an epic scale - and it is artificially propping up real estate prices. For now...

  • Me again Oct 7, 2009

    the end of the head line should read, "Yet thousands of others pay."

  • whatelseisnew Oct 7, 2009

    this stinks, I am looking for cheap properties.