FOX8/WGHP telethon raises over $122,000 for hurricane victims – help still needed

Foreclosure Prevention Fund helps residents stay in homes, while looking for work

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Millions of dollars are available to help cover mortgage payments for those going through hard financial times, and you don't have to pay it back.

The North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund received $482 million dollars from the U.S. Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund. The fund was established in 2010 to help families in states hit hard by the economic and housing market downturn.

Only 13 of an estimated 21,000 qualified families have applied for the assistance.

The fund can help pay your mortgage payments with an interest free loan up to $36,000 while you look for work or get you through a tough financial time like a lost job, divorce or serious illness. Though certain restriction apply, if you stay in your home for 10 years you don't have to pay the money back.

"It is a 10 year non-interest loan that gradually disappears over 10 years," said Damian Birkel, founder of Professionals in Transition, a support group for those out of work.

Many of the people Birkel councils has benefited from the program few know about.

"If you have short-term disability, if you've been out of work a long time if there is some extending circumstance in your life, this could be for you," she explained.

Representatives with the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund will be at the Professionals in Transition meeting scheduled for Thursday night at 7 p.m., at the American Red Cross on Coliseum Drive in Winston-Salem.

For more information on the fund:

http://www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov/nc_foreclosure_prevention_fund.aspx

For more information on Professionals in Transition:

http://www.jobsearching.org/