About 70,000 North Carolina residents will stop receiving federal extended unemployment benefits June 30 – the result of a state law that goes into effect July 1. The law reduces the maximum state benefits a laid-off worker can receive by roughly one-third. It also reduces the maximum weeks of benefits funded by the state. Extended benefits, which kicked in after the 26 weeks of state-funded benefits had been exhausted, provided up to 47 additional weeks of benefits for those unable to find work. Workers who started receiving unemployment benefits before January 1, 2013 will be immediately affected by the change. Over the next several months, 91,000 additional workers, now receiving state-funded benefits, will lose their unemployment benefits as well.
Since 2010, RADA has helped more than 500 families avoid foreclosure through the Mortgage Payment Program. Statewide, the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped over 12,000 families by making mortgage payments for unemployed workers while they seek jobs or complete job training in a new field.
To qualify for assistance under the Mortgage Payment Program, the homeowner must have a satisfactory mortgage payment history six months prior to their job loss or other eligible financial setback. They must also demonstrate the ability to begin making their mortgage payments once the MPP assistance ends.
Assistance under the Mortgage Payment Program is provided as a zero-interest, deferred payment loan of up to $36,000 or 36 months. Mortgage payments are made directly to the lender for homeowners who qualify. The homeowner will resume making their mortgage payments at the end of the MPP assistance period. If they continue to live in their home for 10 years, the loan will be forgiven and no repayment will be due.
Homeowners do not need to be behind on their mortgage payments to seek help. Homeowners who do not qualify for MPP may be eligible for other assistance. For more information about eligibility, contact a RADA HUD-Certified Housing Counselor at 1-919-807-8400 or go to http://rada-nc.org/.