Several years ago, at the height of the economic crisis, North Carolina received federal money through the “Hardest Hit Program,” a government-backed relief effort to help those in this state left in dire economic straits because of the so-called Great Recession. With this federal money, the state set up the North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund, a state-run program that was able to offer financial support to unemployed North Carolina residents who needed help paying their home loans. The program helped families keep their residential real estate out of a foreclosure situation.

States had to spend the federal funds by 2020. The money for this Fund seem to be drying up about on schedule, even though Congress contributed additional funds to the initiative in 2015. Over its life, the Fund helped well over 25,000 North Carolina residents hang on to their homes, either through direct aid of up to $36,000 or by providing funds that allowed for a form of mortgage modification called a reduction recast.

As the economy has improved in this state, the number of foreclosure filings has dropped considerably. While in 2012, there were 30,000 new legal filings for foreclosure, by 2018 the number was under 15,000, that is, less than half of what it was.

Still, the loss of this valuable program is going to affect some people in the Rocky Mount area, especially those who are struggling to find steady work or work that is commensurate with their skills. However, this does not mean that such people are without options in the event of a foreclosure.