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Homeowners catch a break thanks to Foreclosure Prevention Fund

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- More than 50 homeowners crowded the American Red Cross meeting room in Winston-Salem for information on a no interest loan that would help pay their mortgage payments.

The North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund is a program through the NC Housing Finance Agency that helps homeowners in hardship pay for the mortgage while they get back on their feet.

The money comes from the U.S. Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund spread throughout 18 states and the District of Columbia.

The fund can help homeowners with payments through a no interest loan up to $36,000.

Program Manager Everitt Stiles said the program is developed to help restore families.

"We'll continue to do that every month while the homeowner gets out and look for work while the homeowner gets back on their feet up to 18 months," Stiles said. "No payment, no interest."

Stiles said that you must not owe more than $300,000 in payments or be behind more than six months.

The program is designed for homeowners who are looking to regain full-time employment, so people on disability may not qualify.

If the homeowner stays in the same home for 10 years the loan is considered a gift.

The application process can take up to four-week and can be done online or through the 40 nonprofit credit approved counseling agencies throughout the state,  which work with the program.

David Cox from Pfafftown said the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund was fairly easy to apply for and saved him from going into his retirement fund after losing his job last year.

"It was such a load off it really was and it gave me time to look for a job and do the things I needed to do for that and not worry about mortgage and take out of my retirement and then worry what in going to do when I retire," Cox said. "I say go for it you have nothing to lose and everything to gain."

There is no official deadline for the fund. Stiles said the state has enough money left to assist 8,000-9,000 more families.

Form ore information on the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund and how to apply go to the website at www.ncforeclosurepreventionfund.gov