A partnership of state and federal agencies is reducing foreclosures in Forsyth County.
According to the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, in January and February 2014, 259 first-time home foreclosures were filed across Forsyth County. Now the group is teaming up with 41 HUD approved agencies in the state and the U.S. Dept. of Treasury to help people stay in their homes. Bob Kucab, the group’s executive director, says they are able to help people through the North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund.
“The fund itself can make mortgage payments on behalf of homeowners for up to 36 months while a homeowner looks for work or completes retraining. This is for a total benefit of $36,000," explains Kucab. "For people who are returning to work and are now earning less than they did at the job they left, up to $30,000 can be used to pay off a second mortgage.”To qualify, the home must be the primary residence, the homeowner must owe no more than $300,000 on the property, the person applying must have undergone a reduction of income as of January 1, 2008 because of job loss, separation from the military, illness, or family status changes. Also, the homeowner must have an uninterrupted history of paying their mortgage.
Kucab says foreclosed homes create a harmful rippling effect on communities. "As businesses see home foreclosures increase in a neighborhood, they certainly are not going to expand and they may not locate in a particular area," says Kucab. "Also, sometimes property taxes are not paid so the city receives less revenue. These homes can also become abandoned, and then they are the target of vandalism and added police services are necessary and sometimes fire protection."
According to Kucab, these are zero interest loans. If the homeowner stays in the house for an additional ten years after getting help from this fund, the loan is forgiven. Learn more about the North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund at 1-888-623-8631.