Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action is taking part in a state initiative to help homeowners who are facing foreclosure.
Community Action is one of 47 agencies that will share $13 million in mortgage-settlement funds, making it possible to offer free help to home buyers and owners, especially those facing foreclosure.
At no charge, Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action can offer guidance to borrowers who might be eligible for financial payments under the National Mortgage Settlement. Also, the agency can help homeowners to seek loan modifications and counsel them on their options to avoid foreclosure.
Community Action can also help homeowners who have lost their jobs apply for loans to make their mortgage payments while they look for work or complete job training. Zero-interest loans are available from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency and are considered satisfied after the homeowner has continued to live in the home for 10 years.
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In addition to seeking help from a housing counselor, homeowners facing foreclosure should consider the following tips:
• Don’t wait too long. The earlier homeowners seek help, the more and better options they have for saving their home. Homeowners should open and respond to all mail from their lenders and from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.
• Talk to an attorney if you have already received a foreclosure notice. North Carolina has a network of legal-aid attorneys who provide help at low or no cost.
• Homeowners who have already experienced foreclosure might still be eligible for monetary restitution if their loan was originated or serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase or Wells Fargo. To learn if they are eligible, homeowners should go to www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com.
• Avoid foreclosure-prevention companies and foreclosure-recovery scams. Homeowners should read and understand the terms of all documents, never appoint a foreclosure-prevention company to act on their behalf and get professional advice from an attorney, a real estate professional or a housing counseling agency approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Homeowners who think they were victims of a foreclosure-recovery scam should contact the N.C. Attorney General’s office at 1-877-566-7226.
For more information, or to make an appointment with a counselor, homeowners should call Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action at 919-934-2145.