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Resources Sought for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

Posted December 20, 2007

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— Foreclosures have skyrocketed across North Carolina as part of the nationwide mortgage credit crunch.

Statewide, 45,000 homeowners went into foreclosure this year, up 143 percent from a year ago. In Wake County, more than 4,000 people lost their homes, a 15 percent jump from 2006.

More resources are needed to help area homeowners in danger of foreclosure, state and local officials said.

"It's easy to knock on someone's door and find a foreclosure. It's easy," said John Comer, a member of citizen advocacy group ACORN.

The group is pushing for more regulation of abusive mortgage practices. The North Carolina Commissioner of Banks already investigates such practices.

"One of the typical problems in the sub-prime market is the rates automatically adjust after two years and payments can go up 20 to 30 percent," said Mark Pearce, deputy commissioner of banks.

Raleigh resident Paula Harrison said she looked foreclosure in the face and saved her home.

"We were very close, actually eight hours from foreclosure," Harrison said.

Her loan fell into the sub-prime category, with an adjustable rate that created monthly payments she couldn't meet. With the help of the National Training and Information Center, a national nonprofit, she brokered a deal to turn her situation around.

"Once I talked to the lender and they saw the magnitude of abuse on my loan, the lender was able to modify my loan," she said.

Harrison said she believes foreclosure is a community problem, not an individual one. So, she is working to get more local resources to help people the way she helped herself.

"When you have hope, you can save a family, and you can save a community," she said.

The state Banking Commission recommends that people call 888-995-HOPE if they face the possibility of foreclosure.

12 Comments

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  • 68_polara Dec 21, 2007

    Ran out of space:

    with the decreased home prices they would have taken a hugh loss on it so they did what was nesseccary to avoid another forclosure.

  • 68_polara Dec 21, 2007

    "Harrison said she believes foreclosure is a community problem, not an individual one. So, she is working to get more local resources to help people the way she helped herself."
    Why is this lady feeling good about her self?

    It's a problem of irresponsible people living beyond their means. If the economy was in a down turn and layoffs were occurring it would be completely different. How often do you think a Mercedes or BMW sits in the driveway of the homes which are being foreclosed these days?

    "Once I talked to the lender and they saw the magnitude of abuse on my loan, the lender was able to modify my loan," she said.

    And what's that supposed to mean? Was the lender doing something illegal? I highly doubt it, probably unethical, but we need to read these agreements BEFORE signing them! She was lucky.

    "Saw the magnitude of abuse?" Probably not, it's much more likely she had no equity in the home so they knew she could have walked away from it and with the decreased home prices they

  • syracuseinwonderland Dec 21, 2007

    "This looks like a fantastic opportunity to get some great prices on houses with motivated sellers." Harrison Bergeron

    It's definitely getting better. I scooped up a couple more rental properties over in Fayetteville. Military are the best tenants!

  • -info- Dec 20, 2007

    I would like a survey on how many new home owners already had 2 car loans and bought new furniture because you know the old stuff isnt good enough, and landscaped the yard to the tune of thousands and maxed out the charge cards.....and THEN remembered the meaning of ARM.......

  • Harrison Bergeron Dec 20, 2007

    Actually, I'm wondering if this is a good time to start buying property. This looks like a fantastic opportunity to get some great prices on houses with motivated sellers.

  • OSX Dec 20, 2007

    Raydianse.... I didn't know that. I didn't think it was possible to borrow that MUCH more than your house is worth. Learn something everyday. That is just stupidity on the lenders part then.

  • yeahright2 Dec 20, 2007

    What is screwed up is the fact that the people who owned rental properties were getting hurt when anyone could get a mortgage. It reduced the demand for apartments and rents went down. Now the govt want to bail people out for dumb decisions. Forget it! I will bail them out by buying their home at the foreclosure auction. I would like to profit off the stupidity of others.

  • OSX Dec 20, 2007

    Mel P.... I agree somewhat with you. I think the proplem is people who rent what so badly to own a home. The dream of not throwing money away on rent and have a place of their own living the American Dream. This makes them prey for certain lenders because they are easy targets. If my mortage went up 30%, it would be alright but it would sure hurt then the next year it went up another 20%, it would just about put and end to me. I do agree with Mel P. It is just sad that there are vulchers out there that do this to people who want to own a home so bad that they make a bad decision.

  • nc resident Dec 20, 2007

    another thing...want an American Dream....get a job first

  • nc resident Dec 20, 2007

    the house you borrowed for is owned by foreign investers..the free trade agreement says thats OK for them to make idiots out of Americans...

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