Housing foreclosure is a national concern, and here in southeastern North Carolina, where unemployment rates are higher than the national average, it’s a growing problem.
Housing foreclosures are up 14 percent since 2008, but local organizations are reaching out to those at risk
Annette Heyward is one of many in the country facing home foreclosure. “We could lose our home and have nowhere to go, so we’re afraid,” she said.
Some can turn to mortgage counselors for help.
“That’s kinda where we come in to play a part as a connecting piece between us as the housing counselor, the borrower and the lender servicer to try and come up with a feasible solution in order to keep the person in their house,” said Toronya Ezell, the AMEZ program coordinator.
But for people like Heyward, who has a private mortgage, options are limited. “Lenders and servicers and seeing its really a benefit to them to go ahead and try to work with the client but you got a lot of private investors who have yet to come on board.”
And Ezell says the worst is yet to come in the housing crisis. “It hasn’t reached its peak, it has not.”
AMEZ has filed more than 350 packages for people in New Hanover, Pender, Columbus and Brunswick counties. The state’s managed to prevent 2,500 foreclosures.
For Heyward, there’s only one option. “If I don’t go in there with $4,200 dollars, its over with.”
AMEZ advises people to stay ahead of the game. If you foresee a financial issue or are in a bind for money currently, and you have a mortgage, contact your lender immediately.
Because so many houses are being foreclosed, some lenders are being more flexible and willing to work with borrowers.