Mortgage-relief program celebrated in Hickory

Jul. 24, 2013 @ 05:44 AM

Five-hundred homeowners in this region have received assistance in paying mortgage-related costs through the Mortgage Payment Program, initiated in October 2010.

Local officials and residents met at the Western Piedmont Council of Government headquarters in Hickory Tuesday to celebrate the milestone. Most of the 500 helped in the four-county Western Piedmont region have been Caldwell County residents.

The program, an initiative funded by the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund, has helped homeowners pay mortgage-related expenses as part of a pilot program with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Foreclosure Program.

A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the program, commended WPCOG for having the highest application-approval percentage in the state.

The program, funded by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Hardest Hit Fund, offers help via a one-time payment, short-term assistance while seeking employment, or long-term assistance if enrolled in a job retraining program.

Lori Dixon, a participant in the program who spoke at the event, said the program helped her when she lost her job shortly after buying a new home.

Willie Little, another participant, also received help from the program after losing a job. “There is a God. Let’s put it that way,” he said.