The North Carolina Home Protection Pilot Program and Loan Fund helps workers who lose their jobs as the result of changing economic conditions avoid foreclosure of their homes. Created by the General Assembly in 2004 and operated by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, the program assists workers who have lost jobs in 61 counties, even if they don’t reside there.
If you qualify, you can receive a zero-interest loan that is usually equal to the lesser of $20,000, 18 months of monthly mortgage payments, or the minimum amount required to bring loans and other mortgage-related obligations current. The Agency first uses the proceeds of the loan to bring the homeowner current. Then, on a monthly basis, the Agency will use the remaining loan proceeds to remit payment on mortgage-related obligations until all proceeds are used. Repayment is deferred for 15 years, unless the home is sold, refinanced or is no longer your principal residence. In those events, the loan also becomes due. The loans can be either short-term—to bring a mortgage current, or long-term—to keep a mortgage current for up to 18 months while you participate in an approved retraining program.
A unique component of the program is a temporary 120-day stay of foreclosure. Under N.C. statute (Session Law 2005-276, Section 20.2, as amended), once a homeowner’s completed application has been received by the Agency, the stay of foreclosure is imposed. While the stay protects you from foreclosure, it does not protect against collection, prevent late payments from being included on your credit report, or relieve you from honoring any agreements to pay mortgage-related obligations.
Homeowners apply through participating local agencies, which offer housing counseling and determine whether applicants are eligible for assistance from the loan fund. If the counseling agency decides you are eligible, it will help you complete the application. Homeowners must provide all necessary information with the application, including the circumstances that caused the financial hardship and the factors affecting prospects for resuming mortgage payments. Please note that the counseling agency’s determination of eligibility for a loan does not guarantee assistance; the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency approves or denies all loans.
To be eligible for a loan, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- live or have worked in one of the pilot counties
- have lost your job due to changing economic conditions
- have a mortgage that is secured by real property
- demonstrate an ability to resume your mortgage payment after the assistance ends, and
- have had a stable employment and credit history prior to losing your job.
Assistance is available in designated counties on a first-come, first-serve basis, and until funds are expended.
The counties now served are Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Bertie, Bladen, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Caswell, Catawba, Cherokee, Cleveland, Cumberland, Davidson, Davie, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Graham, Granville, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Hertford, Hoke, Iredell, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, Northampton, Person, Polk, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Scotland, Stanly, Transylvania, Tyrell, Vance, Warren, Washington, Watauga, Wilkes, Wilson, Yadkin, Yancey.
Contact your local counseling agency to learn more.