FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2014
Ashley Simmons, Office of the Mayor
In celebration of National Homeownership Month, Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter announced today that the City of Charlotte is partnering with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency to raise awareness about an innovative North Carolina resource that has already helped 2,500 local homeowners save their homes from foreclosure.
Designed especially for North Carolina, the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund helps responsible homeowners keep their homes while they get back on their feet after job loss or other temporary financial hardship. The fund makes mortgage payments while the homeowner looks or retrains for a new job. The effort was expanded last fall to benefit veterans transitioning back to civilian jobs.
The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund has saved nearly $294 million in property from foreclosure in Charlotte. Clodfelter says the organization is making a positive impact on the city’s economy.
“I support the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, recognizing the importance of homeownership to the quality of life in Charlotte,” said Clodfelter. “June marks National Homeownership Month, and we are excited to celebrate and promote the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund and all efforts to save homeowners from foreclosure in our region.”
The Fund is offered by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting public agency, and funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It was created for North Carolina in 2010 because of high unemployment, and used as a model for programs in a dozen other states. Although the State’s unemployment rate has declined since then, it continues to exceed the national average in more than 50 counties, including Mecklenburg County, where more than 31,000 were still unemployed as of April 30.
So far, more than 16,000 North Carolina homeowners have benefitted, and funds are available to help 5,000 more.
There is no cost for assistance, which is offered as a zero-interest, deferred loan that pays the homeowner’s mortgage for up to 36 months ($36,000) during job search or retraining, or brings a mortgage current after the owner experiences a reduction of income. No repayment is due as long as the homeowner continues to live in their home. Loans for mortgage payment and reinstatement are forgiven after 10 years of occupancy.
To be eligible, the homeowner must have experienced job loss or reduction of income through no fault of their own, live in the home as their principal residence, have a mortgage balance not exceeding $300,000, have a satisfactory payment history prior to job loss, and be a legal resident.
“Foreclosure hurts everyone—homeowners, their neighbors, and the state’s economy,” said A. Robert Kucab, Executive Director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency. “Having Mayor Clodfelter and the City of Charlotte as partners will greatly increase the success of the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund’s efforts in Charlotte. We are very grateful.”
Homeowners can apply for assistance through more than 40 HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide, including four serving Mecklenburg County, or online at www.NCForeclosurePrevention.gov
. Those seeking assistance can also call 1-888-623-8631.