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Thousands seek help from N.C. foreclosure program

Posted January 15, 2009
Updated September 15, 2009

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— Thousands of North Carolina homeowners have taken advantage of a new state program designed to head off home foreclosures.

Under the law, 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.

Homeowners need more foreclosure help, advocates say Advocates: Homeowners need more foreclosure help

Since the law took effect two months ago, foreclosures fell in North Carolina in both November and December. Foreclosures were up 16 percent statewide in 2008, compared with an 81 percent jump nationwide.

North Carolina now ranks 27th among states in the number of foreclosures. The Triangle region ranks 71st among metro areas around the country.

"We've had over 2,000 homeowners across the state who were on the doorstep of foreclosure to call us for assistance," said Mark Pearce, North Carolina deputy commissioner of banks.

Pearce said it's too early to evaluate the program's success, but he said homeowners need to ask for help for it to work.

"A lot of times, homeowners weren't taking action. They would stick their heads in the sand," he said.

Charles "Red" Hughes, owner of Red's Beach Music club in Raleigh, found himself sinking in red ink over his home mortgage. He said he turned to ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, for guidance on refinancing and other information so he could keep his home.

"I think everybody goes through some tough times in their life," Hughes said. "When they guided me through it, there was not a possibility of foreclosure."

ACORN protesters gathered at the Wake County Courthouse on Thursday to protest at a foreclosure auction. They called for a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures to give lenders and struggling homeowners more time to find a fix.

"There are a lot of families that are hurting, and I'm just concerned about the families," one protester said.

Hughes was more direct, telling other owners to take action. "Don't let them take your home," he said.


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  • really02 Jan 16, 2009

    where is my money? the average tax payer.

  • really02 Jan 16, 2009

    WHERE IS MY MONEY THAT THESE LIBERALS ARE GIVING OUT?????????????????????????????????????///


  • really02 Jan 16, 2009

    do not own a house.

  • kammy Jan 16, 2009

    In addition, part of this problem is solely on the banks. They won't talk with you unless you are behind on your payments. If you know money is going to be tight but are paying what you owe every month, they won't work with you. If you call saying "Listen, we're having tremendous difficulty," they will say too bad - you're paying on time. Of COURSE people are going to be delinquent on their mortgages if that is the only way to get the bank to listen. What else could you do?

  • kammy Jan 16, 2009

    "I am so sick of all of you people who think you are untouchable."

    Absolutely agree! We have a savings, are paying down our debt, aren't spending much of anything and are being responsible. If I were laid off like so many of my colleagues just yesterday, it wouldn't take long to eat through the savings (especially with the cost of COBRA). No one is hiring. Mostly every industry is laying off workers. Do the math.

  • lizard78 Jan 16, 2009

    I can't believe how high and mighty everyone on this board is acting. Do you all understand that there are people getting laid off everyday. My husband is an out of work contractor.
    I am very financially responsible. I work as an accountant.
    I could afford my home 4 years ago when I bought it.
    Not everyone lives in a $200,000 + house and drives SUVs.
    I am so sick of all of you people who think you are untouchable.

  • streetfightinman Jan 16, 2009

    Most of these people in trouble could'nt afford a cell phone
    much less a house, if the majority of these people get help from the government, the people that are responsable enough that pay there house payment ,should get a reduction on there interest rate for there home. If you can't afford it don't buy it.

  • woodrowboyd2 Jan 16, 2009

    right now its not by the grace of god but by the pocketbook of the taxpayers

  • didisaythat Jan 16, 2009


    you are correct. There is no incentive anymore. I do not have to take responsability anymore because I know someone will pay for me.....well not me because I would never qualify. I doubt I would ever meet the standard even if I lost my job because I am financially responsible.

  • Bellamia Jan 16, 2009

    Nope, I think a lot of this situation was caused by folks living beyond their means! Expensive Suv's, houses they could not afford and the mortage companies giving out money they know these people cant pay back. I dont think freebies and special bailouts work.