The Raleigh Area Development Authority is one of 40 counseling groups statewide offering help to North Carolinians who lost their jobless benefits July 1. These people might be eligible for mortgage help through the state while they continue their search for a job or complete training in a new field.
About 70,000 North Carolina residents stopped receiving extended jobless benefits June 30 – the result of a state law that went into effect July 1. The law reduces the maximum state benefits a laid-off worker can receive by roughly one-third. It also reduces the maximum weeks of benefits funded by the state. The extended benefits, which kicked in after 26 weeks, provided up to 47 additional weeks of benefits for those unable to find work. Jobless people who started receiving unemployment benefits before Jan. 1, 2013, were immediately affected by the change. Over the next several months, 91,000 additional workers will lose their jobless benefits as well.
The state’s Mortgage Payment Program is a mortgage-assistance program offered through the N.C. Housing Finance Agency using funds from the U.S. Treasury. The Raleigh Area Development Authority, which now has an office at 1535 Booker Dairy Road in Smithfield, serves homeowners in Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Johnston, Nash and Wake counties. Since 2010, the agency has helped more than 500 families avoid foreclosure through the Mortgage Payment Program. Statewide, the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped more than 11,000 families by making mortgage payments for unemployed workers while they seek jobs or complete job training.
To qualify for assistance under the Mortgage Payment Program, the homeowner must have a good mortgage-payment history prior to his job loss or other financial setback. The homeowner must also demonstrate the ability to begin making mortgage payments once the MPP assistance ends.
Assistance under the Mortgage Payment Program is a zero-interest, deferred-payment loan of up to $36,000. Mortgage payments are made directly to the lender for homeowners who qualify. The homeowner will resume making the mortgage payments at the end of the MPP assistance period. If they continue to live in their home for 10 years, the loan will be forgiven, and no repayment will be due.
Homeowners do not need to be behind on their mortgage payments to seek help.
Homeowners who do not qualify for MPP might be eligible for other assistance. For more information about eligibility, call a RADA housing counselor at 1-919-807-8400 or go to rada-nc.org.