Local News

N.C. foreclosures up last quarter

Posted October 16, 2009 6:17 p.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2009 7:10 p.m. EDT

— New data shows that North Carolina foreclosure filings from July to September of this year were up 38 percent from the same time last year.

The North Carolina Commissioner of Banks said there were more than 19,000 filings statewide, with Wake and Durham counties seeing significant increases and Cumberland County remaining steady.

Meanwhile, numbers released this week from RealtyTrac, an online aggregator of foreclosed data, show North Carolina had the 14th-lowest foreclosure rate in the nation for the third quarter of 2009 with one in every 417 homes going into foreclosure.

Nationally, the company found 930,000 homes, or one in every 136 homes, went into foreclosure during the same three months – the worst number ever for the period.

In North Carolina, a law adopted last year requires lenders to provide homeowners and the state 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.

Mark Pearce, the state's chief deputy commissioner of banks, said Friday that the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project has helped more than 2,100 North Carolina families prevent foreclosure.

"People, when they're struggling to make the mortgage payment, should not
give up hope. There are resources out there," he said.

The program utilizes 34 nonprofit counseling agencies across the state and one national nonprofit phone counseling service.

Fight N.C. 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, which homeowners needing free foreclosure assistance can call.