Millions in Aid to Curb Surging North Carolina Foreclosures

by Peter Vernon on States

Millions in federal funds are expected to contain North Carolina foreclosures which are still surging. In May, foreclosure filings in North Carolina increased to 4,357, up by almost 12 percent from 3,902 in April.

Of the nearly 4,000 filings in April, a total of 2,233 filings or 57 percent became bank owned foreclosures and 1,669 or 43 percent were pre foreclosures. It was not only the number of filings that increased in May month-over-month; the rate of increase also jumped up from the April increase rate of 9.8 percent.

The $159-million share of North Carolina from the $600 million granted by the Obama administration to the state and four other foreclosure-clobbered states – Ohio, South Carolina, Oregon and Rhode Island – is expected to help contain the surge in foreclosures statewide. This block of grants was meant to help homeowners who have lost their jobs or lost sources of income due to reasons such as illness or divorce.

Efforts to curb JP Morgan foreclosures through the federal Home Affordable Modification Program and the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives are also expected to help cut down defaults and repossessions.

Based on the most recent Treasury Department report on HAMP lender performance, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank started a total of 198,307 trial HAMP modifications nationwide since the start of the program. With 47,467 of these moved on to permanent modifications, it is hoped that a significant number of these helped cut down North Carolina foreclosures.

The same report stated that two percent of all HAMP modification in the country were mortgages made in North Carolina, a low percentage when compared to the 22-percent share of top placer California, but a significant percentage when compared to its low ranking on foreclosure rate charts. In April, North Carolina ranked 37th with a rate of one filing for every 1,077 residential units.

If lenders approve more short sales and loan modifications and if more homeowners qualify for the $159-million-funded program, North Carolina foreclosures would sharply slow down.

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