5 On Your Side

NC fund helps prevent foreclosure

Posted June 15

Divorce, a medical emergency or a job loss could turn your finances upside down and send you into foreclosure.

A North Carolina program, though, has helped thousands of financially strapped people keep their home. Since 2010, the North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention fund has kept almost 22,000 North Carolinians in their homes, and the fund just got another grant to help thousands more facing financial struggles.

Dion Boone puts her spacious Raleigh kitchen to work by creating a line of hair products.

"I've kind of reinvented myself a little bit to be able to get myself set in a place where I know I'm going to be able to walk right back into taking care of (my mortgage)," Boone said.

She bought the home in 2001 before a divorce left her struggling with the payments and medical problems made her situation worse. She tried to refinance and even tried a loan modification, but neither worked.

"But then of course, my credit score was different," Boone said. "You know what I mean. My finances were different, so I didn't have that kind of option that I had before."

She found help through the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund. The fund was set up in 2010 at the height of the housing crisis. It's funded by the U.S. Treasury Department and provides interest-free, forgivable loans of up to $36,000 for as many as three years.

To qualify, you must:

» be in a temporary financial hardship

» have a good payment history

» be able to resume payments on your own..

The fund also helps veterans transitioning to civilian life.

"I was so elated, so relieved ... so grateful, and I just couldn't believe it," Boone said.

With some of the stress gone, Boone is getting back on her feet and working in her kitchen to secure her future.

"There was actually this program that was set in place to help people so they wouldn't lose their homes," Boone said. "And they actually are helping people not to lose their homes."

With the new grant, the fund can help another 6,000 people.

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