WBTV partners with NC Housing Finance Agency to help struggling - | WBTV Charlotte

WBTV partners with NC Housing Finance Agency to help struggling homeowners

(Source: WBTV/File) (Source: WBTV/File)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

WBTV partnered with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency to help people who are struggling to make payments on their homes because of lost jobs or personal hardships.

According to CoreLogic, While the number of foreclosures in NC is declining, there were still 15,000 completed home foreclosures in the state in 2015. There have already been 14,272 foreclosure filings in NC so far this year through June. 30; 1,743 in Mecklenburg County.

The NC housing Finance Agency runs the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund in which they use funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Funds were made available to North Carolina because of high concentration of unemployment at the beginning of the recession. 

The purpose is to help homeowners who lost their jobs during the recession and recovery to avoid also losing their homes - strengthening their ability to recover and preserving local property values.

It has helped families like Lionel and Deborah Wellington. Lionel lost his job.

“The paint machines, I was building those and they laid me off,” said Wellington. “It is frightful thinking you are going to be in the street if you do not have a place to live.”

Not only did Wellington lose his job, but he also suffered three heart attacks. With those heart attacks came massive medical bills.

“When he had the heart attack that is what really hit. I was like, 'we may be in trouble,'” said Deborah Wellington, Lionel's wife.

The Wellington’s turned to the Housing Finance Agency for help.

“This is not just about rich people or poor people. This is about hard working people that just happened to fall into this position,” said Deborah Wellington. “Oh, the journey was easy for us.”

"They paid my mortgage and my HOA for 18 months which ended up being about $26,000 dollars,” said Wellington.

Below is more information on the Fund, the help offered, and who is eligible.

NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund:

  • Administered by the NC Housing Finance Agency using funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Funds were made available to North Carolina because of high concentration of unemployment at the beginning of the recession.
  • Purpose is to help homeowners who lost their jobs during the recession and recovery to avoid also losing their homes—strengthening their ability to recover and preserving local  property values.
  • Also assists homeowners struggling with mortgage payments due to a temporary hardship such as divorce, death of a copayer or illness that necessitates them finding a new job, and homeowners who have suffered a qualified hardship and are now re-employed but earning less or are now on a fixed income and unable to make mortgage payments as a result.
  • Provides special assistance for veterans transitioning to civilian life. Making the foreclosure assistance available for veterans is particularly important in North Carolina, which is home to 10 percent of all active-duty military personnel in the U.S. (102,000) and more than 775,000 veterans.
  • Since 2010, more than 22,000 NC homeowners have been assisted;  98 percent of those who have completed assistance and now make their own payments have successfully avoided foreclosure; more than $3.8 billion of  property has been kept out of foreclosure
  • No other program in North Carolina does this (makes mortgage payments on behalf of a homeowner)

Types of Assistance:

  • Mortgage Payment Assistance: For homeowners who have lost their jobs or who are recovering from a temporary hardship, the program makes mortgage payments of up to $36,000 directly to the loan servicer for up to 36 months while homeowners look for jobs or re-train.
  • Principle Reduction Assistance: For homeowners earning less or on a fixed income, the program can reduce the principal and recast the loan to make mortgage payments more affordable.
  • Funds can also be used to bring a mortgage current for a homeowner.
  • Veterans attending school on the GI Bill or participating in a VA-approved vocational training program are eligible for the maximum 36 months of assistance, as long as their mortgage payments exceed 25 percent of their household income.
  • Zero-interest deferred loan; repayment not necessary if homeowners remains in home for 10 years

Eligibility for Fund assistance:

  • Responsible homeowners who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.
  • Homeowners struggling because of temporary financial hardships that require them to find a new job.
  • Veterans must be separated from service on or after Jan. 1, 2008, provide a DD-214, have a VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility for the GI Bill and provide proof of enrollment in school or a vocational retraining program.
  • For mortgage payment assistance, must be looking for work or retraining.
  • For principal reduction and loan recast, must be re-employed or on a fixed income after a qualified hardship and earning less with an unaffordable mortgage.
  • Need to have good payment history before job loss or other hardship.
  • Must show ability to resume making own mortgage payments after assistance ends.
  • Don’t have to be delinquent on payments to apply.
  • Do have to show a need—mortgage and related payments are greater than 25 percent of household income.
  • Legal resident of North Carolina.
  • Job loss/financial setback must be after Jan. 1, 2008.

The process:

  • Apply through local HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide or online at www.NCMortgageHelp.gov.
  • Final decision made by Fund staff at the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.

For more information:

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