The NC Housing Finance Agency understands that this is a stressful and difficult time for many North Carolinians. The economic impacts of the pandemic have hit homeowners hard and you may be facing challenges in paying your housing-related expenses.
Below are some tips on what to do if you are experiencing problems paying your mortgage, resources you can access and how to avoid scams when seeking help.
Please note that if you have an FHA loan, you may be eligible for specific loss mitigation assistance. Our video, Know Your Options, provides information on this and other options, including both temporary assistance and permanent solutions.
If you are unsure of how to get started, contact your loan servicer, which is the company or bank that you make your mortgage payments, to explore available options. They may be able to offer immediate help such as loan modification, payment deferral, partial claim or other options to cure the default.
Return calls from your loan servicer’s customer service or loss mitigation departments and provide them with any necessary correspondence pertaining to your loan.
Provide all documents requested by your loan servicer for assistance consideration and follow up to confirm receipt.
If you requested assistance from your servicer in the past and were denied, reach out to your servicer again for reconsideration. If your situation has changed or your hardship has continued, they may be able to review your loan again for available options and/or the options may have changed since you last applied for assistance.
If you requested assistance from your servicer and a response is still pending, reach out to your servicer for an update and continue to follow up until a decision has been made.
If your servicer has indicated that there are no available options for you, contact Legal Aid of North Carolina at 1-866-219-5262 or the Lawyer Referral Line at 1-800-662-7660 for legal services to explore other options not offered by your servicer.
Try to set aside as much money as possible to demonstrate recovery from your financial hardship and your ability to resume payments.
Reach out to a HUD-approved housing counseling organization for help.
State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project
Homeowners should call 1-888-442-8188 to be connected with a local housing counselor who can review their options, work with their servicer and refer them to free legal services.
FHA Resource Center
Homeowners with FHA loans who have contacted their services and have not received a response should contact the resource center at 1-800-225-5342 or [email protected] for assistance.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Homeowners can find additional resources and recommendations at the CFPB’s Help for Homeowners. The site provides information on forbearance and how homeowners can locate their servicer.
995 Hope Homeowner Counseling
Offered by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation since 2004, 995 Hope works one-on-one with homeowners, providing free, confidential, and comprehensive financial and foreclosure prevention education through the national Homeowner’s HOPE™ hotline – 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).
Federal Housing Finance Agency Interpretive Services
If you are looking to speak with someone in your preferred language about the mortgage process, mortgage documents, loan payments, staying in your home, or avoiding scams or fraud, FHFA offers free-to-use interpretive services to help.
Provides free and confidential information 24/7 on health and human services and resources within your community, maintained by the United Way of North Carolina. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 for assistance and text COVIDNC to 898-211 to sign up for announcements and updates.
Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)
LIEAP is a federally-funded program that provides for a one-time vendor payment to help eligible households pay their heating bills. Households including a person aged 60 or older or disabled persons receiving services through the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services are eligible to sign up for assistance from Dec. 1 – 31. All other households may apply from Jan. 1 – March 31 or until funds are exhausted.
Legal Aid of North Carolina
Legal Aid of NC provides free legal help to low-income North Carolinians in civil cases involving basic human needs like shelter and can help you retain ownership of your home. Call 866-219-LANC (5262) to apply for help.
Freddie Mac #Help Starts Here
This interactive guide provides resources for struggling homeowners, including guidance on key steps to take, available options and alternatives, information about forbearance and how it and other relief options could impact you, and how to avoid foreclosure rescue scams.
Here to Help
Offer by Fannie Mae, Here to Help provides information on getting help for homeowners that have been financially impacted by the pandemic, including a Mortgage Loan Lookup Tool that lists what free resources are available.
Unfortunately, mortgage scams are increasingly common and can put home buyers and homeowners at risk when they’re buying a home, refinancing or if they’re looking for help making mortgage payments. Foreclosure rescue scams have become more prevalent during the pandemic so it is important to understand what scams are out there and how you can avoid them. Below are resources to help you protect yourself:
“We were literally drowning in debt, scrambling to catch up on everything, that’s why this program has been a Godsend!”
Yolanda R., New Hanover County
“The NCHAF program was a divine opportunity for me and my family. The NCHAF team were responsive and helped hold off foreclosure on my home.”
Latoya A., Durham County Homeowner
“The patience and concern the NCHAF staff showed us was wonderful. We were enrolled in a loan modification program and anytime we had a question, the staff were able to answer it.”
Ryan & Stephanie W., Edgecombe County
“My case manager held my hand the entire way. The process was quick and straightforward. I am caught up on payments thanks to NCHAF that helped me in my time of need.”
Barry G., Wake County
“My social security disability income was reduced, and I was grieving a loss while ill with COVID-19. I was getting further and further behind until NCHAF helped me get back on track with my mortgage payments.”
Karen R., Nash County
“The COVID-19 pandemic was difficult on me physically and mentally. My case manager was responsive and provided helpful referrals to assist me in my time of need. The program not only saved my life, but also my children’s lives as well.”
North Carolina Homeowner
“I suffer from anxiety, and having NCHAF staff be responsive meant a lot to someone who is worried and unsure of the future. An open line of communication is valuable.”
Kevin W., Mecklenburg County
“I was completely hopeless and one day away from having to vacate my home of 18 years. NCHAF stepped in to help me avoid foreclosure so that I can keep a roof over our family.”
David O., Wilson County
“My bills were piling, and my financial resources were exhausted. I was able to prioritize other bills with tax assistance from NCHAF.”
Northampton County Homeowner
“My case manager was always helpful and glad to answer any questions. I was able to avoid foreclosure with the help of NCHAF.”
Guilford County Homeowner
“Having a limited monthly income has made things difficult. I did not know how I would catch up on my mortgage payments. NCHAF was a lifesaver for me.”
Pitt County Homeowner
“NCHAF contacted my mortgage company and got them off my back. I have colon cancer and recently my cancer has progressed. I could not work as much waitressing and with NCHAF helping me, I can stand up and breathe again.”
Tammie T., Guilford County
“I got the assistance I needed during a difficult time in my life. My case manager was responsive with getting me the answers I needed. I am so grateful.”
Jessica G., Mecklenburg County
“The physical and mental toll that the pandemic has taken on those of us in the medical field has been difficult. When I found out I was awarded with mortgage assistance, I said ‘Hallelujah!”
Karen M., Hoke County
“I like the NCHAF program, it gives our clients at Life Store Bank hope. Folks have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and late on mortgages. It gives them a chance to get caught up and NCHAF staff have been very responsive to clients providing financial assistance. It's wonderful that they have been helping our homeowners.”
Doug Matney, Credit Relations Manager, Life Store Bank
“My case manager was knowledgeable, had a positive attitude, and went above and beyond to assist me. I received assistance with property taxes, and it was a smooth process. I am so grateful for the help I received.”
Keishonna H., Brunswick County Homeowner
“I was happy to know there is a program out there for homeowners. This program helped us get back on our feet with tax payments while continuing to make our mortgage payments.”
Belinda T., Durham County Homeowner