N.C. Sees Success In Foreclosure Prevention Project

first seven months of operation, North Carolina's State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project (NC Foreclosure Project) has prevented more than 1,000 foreclosures and connected over 3,000 homeowners to housing counseling agencies for foreclosure prevention counseling. The announcement was made Tuesday by Gov. Bev Purdue and the Office of the Commissioner of Banks (NCCOB). The economic impact of the program to date is estimated at $86 million, according to NCCOB. Last year, the [link=http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/SessionLaws/HTML/2007-2008/SL2008-226.html ][u]General Assembly enacted[/u][/link] the emergency program to reduce foreclosures on subprime loans and directed NCCOB to develop and implement the program. The NC Foreclosure Project requires mortgage companies to file notices with the state in advance of foreclosure on subprime loans and authorizes the Commissioner of Banks to delay a foreclosure filing by 30 days, if the commissioner believes a foreclosure can be prevented. Working with major mortgage companies, nonprofit service providers and state agencies, NCCOB developed a program to notify homeowners nearing foreclosure proceedings early and to make it easier for homeowners to access the existing network of over 150 certified housing counselors across the state. The NC Foreclosure Project also provides an opportunity for homeowners to have their subprime loans reviewed for potential violations of law by NCCOB-trained volunteers, who help NCCOB identify instances of suspected predatory lending and refer them to private or public enforcement. A network of legal service providers is available to assist homeowners referred by counseling agencies to provide further review of loans or foreclosure defense. In addition, NCCOB staff monitors the progress of loan workouts to address communication breakdowns between housing counselors and mortgage companies. Over 120 mortgage servicers have submitted pre-foreclosure notices to the database, NCCOB reports, and many servicers have dedicated loss mitigation staff to this project. In fiscal year 2008-2009, NCCOB invested $1.5 million to support the NC Foreclosure Project. These funds were provided not from tax revenues, but by the NCCOB's receipts from operations (generally, assessments from firms regulated by the agency). North Carolina's foreclosure rate is the lowest in the South Atlantic region, according to the most recent National Delinquency Survey results released by the Mortgage Bankers Association. North Carolina had the lowest rate of foreclosure starts, as well as lowest rate of serious delinquencies. SOURCE: Office of Gov. Bev


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