A federally-funded program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure is now available state-wide.
The program, which first launched in October in 17 counties, allows eligible homeowners to receive up to $24,000 or 24 months of mortgage payments while they seek other employment or participate in job training programs.
In high unemployment counties, the maximum assistance is $36,000 or 36 months.
North Carolina was one of five states that received money from a $600 million aid pool designed to prevent foreclosures in states plagued by high unemployment.
The U.S. Treasury Department has since made additional funds available to North Carolina and other states.
North Carolina is eligible to receive $482.8 million that it will use for three programs, with most of the funds going to provide mortgage payment assistance.
The state is spending about $115 million on the initial phase of the new program, which is based on a previous state-funded effort that provides mortgage payment help.
The program is designed to help those who have gotten behind on their mortgage payment through no fault of their own.
The money is provided as a zero-interest loan that is forgiven over 10 years as long as the owner continues to live in the home.
Before providing assistance, the N.C. Finance Agency will look at a borrower's mortgage payment history and whether their existing mortgage would be affordable if they found other employment.
To find out more about the program call 1-888-623-8631 or go here.