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New law aims to keep foreclosures down

Posted November 13, 2008

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— North Carolina’s foreclosure figures are lower than at this time last year, and the state is hoping to keep the numbers down with a new law to give homeowners more time to renegotiate lower rates.

Lenders are now required to notify the North Carolina Banking Commission 45 days before filing foreclosure paperwork.

The law took effect Nov. 1.

“We've had 5,000 loans registered in our database, and we've sent out 5,000 letters to homeowners urging them to take action to avoid foreclosure,” said Mark Pearce, deputy commissioner of banks.

Disabled veteran Jim Richardson's home, which he shares with his mother and brother, was scheduled to be sold at auction next week.

“It’s been a struggle. It’s been very frustrating,” Richardson said.

Richardson said that when medical bills piled up, his mortgage payments fell behind.

Richardson faced foreclosure last month, when the state Banking Commission stepped in to help. The commission helped to get a 30-day hold on the auction to give Richardson time to try to negotiate a new rate and payment plan with his bank.

On Thursday, Richardson said HSBC Bank offered to reduce his interest rate from 8.25 to 5.25. He said the bank has agreed to stop foreclosure proceedings and has set up a manageable plan to pay the overdue amount.

HSBC Bank representatives told WRAL that Richardson’s foreclosure is on hold indefinitely.

Foreclosure statistics

North Carolina ranked 29th nationally in foreclosures, according to figures released Thursday by RealtyTrac, a national company that follows the market. An additional 3,000 homes entered foreclosure last month, which was an increase of 30 percent from September.

Compared with September, Wake County saw a 67 percent jump in the number of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process.

Cumberland County had a 31 percent jump, and Johnston County’s foreclosures were up 28 percent. Orange County foreclosures were up 6 percent.

In Durham County, October foreclosures were down 6 percent from September. In June, Durham launched a campaign to prevent home foreclosures. It uses workshops and financial counseling to encourage homeowners in financial trouble to seek help early.

8 Comments

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  • hazeyc Nov 14, 2008

    If there is a permanent decrease in income and the mortgage is unaffordable one solution is to sell the house and get something cheaper. Another is to get a roommate that pays.

    There is always a bottom line solution and that solution is not always to keep someone in a house. I know I used to be a loss mitigation rep for a mortgage insurer.

  • bhappy Nov 14, 2008

    we've sent out 5,000 letters to homeowners urging them to take action to avoid foreclosure,” said Mark Pearce, deputy commissioner of banks.

    This is a joke!! How can people take action? What are homeowners suppose to do? If the homeowners knew what actions to take they would not be in this situation.

    I thought the bail out was intended to help Americans! I guess it will bail you out if you are a 4 million dollar a year CEO that ran a company into the ground

  • chfdcpt Nov 14, 2008

    Or don't forget persons that get hurt and loose income. I had an on the job injury, and ended up loosing about 1/3 of my salary. Tried for 4 years to get my bank to refinance due to my loss of income due to injury; but banks don't want to refinance you when there is a loss of income. I went thru 4 years of fighting and spending everything in our savings and 401k to keep the house. But after the money ran out, they still foreclosed on us. I forgot to mention, that was with the bank that cared, Washington Mutual; which was ordered to close down it's NC offices by the state due to their shady practices.

  • mramorak Nov 14, 2008

    So this means most folks can still keep up with the jones,and the image buyers will keep buying their toys.

  • lizard Nov 14, 2008

    colliedave - iwondered that too. Three adults and even with medical bills, they say they can't make the payment. I wish someone would reduce my loan rate 3%.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 14, 2008

    This is like the Dutch boy trying to hold back the flood.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Nov 13, 2008

    One case that deserves sympathy.

    Most foreclosures are because people bough homes they couldn't afford with exotic loans like reverse amortization and interest only that are now needing to be paid for.

  • colliedave Nov 13, 2008

    Disabled veteran Jim Richardson's home, which he shares with his mother and brother, is scheduled to be sold at auction next week.

    don't they work