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N.C. regulators expand foreclosure-aid program

A program set up last year to help North Carolina homeowners with subprime loans avoid foreclosure is being expanded to include struggling homeowners with traditional prime loans.

The program, called the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project, offers counseling and legal services through a network of state and local government agencies and nonprofits.

Mark Pearce, chief deputy commissioner of banks, said today that the program is being expanded because the foreclosure crisis in North Carolina has spread beyond people who took on mortgages at high interest rates.

North Carolina foreclosure filings over the first eight months of the year totaled just under 40,000 and are up 7 percent over the same period last year. Pearce said 60 percent of the foreclosures in the state now involve prime loans.

Homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments can call a toll-free number, 1-866-234-4857, and receive foreclosure assistance at no cost. Homeowners also can visit the project's Web site.

State bank regulators order mortgage company to stop foreclosures

The state banking commissioner today ordered Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. to halt foreclosing existing loans as well as originating new loans in the state.

The cease-and-desist order issued by N.C. Commissioner of Banks Joe Smith against Taylor Bean, a major mortgage lender based in Ocala, Fla., is in effect pending an audit of the mortgage company's loan files.

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