45-104. State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project and Fund.

(a) The purpose of the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project is to seek solutions to avoid foreclosures for home loans. The Project may include input from HUD-approved housing counselors, community organizations, the Credit Union Division and other State agencies, mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, and other partners. The Housing Finance Agency shall administer the Project.

(b) There is established a State Home Foreclosure Prevention Trust Fund to be managed and maintained by the Housing Finance Agency. The funds shall be held separate from any other funds received by the Housing Finance Agency in trust for the operation of the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project.

(c) Upon the filing of the information required under G.S. 45-103, the mortgage servicer shall pay a fee of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) to the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Trust Fund. The fee shall not be charged more than once for a home loan covered by this act. The Housing Finance Agency shall collect the fee. Upon receipt of the fee the Housing Finance Agency shall deposit the funds into the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Trust Fund. The Housing Finance Agency shall manage the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Trust Fund.

(d) The Housing Finance Agency shall use funds from the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Trust Fund to compensate performance-based service contracts or other contracts and grants necessary to implement the purposes of this act in the following manner:

(1) An amount, not to exceed the greater of two million two hundred thousand dollars ($2,200,000) or thirty percent (30%) of the funds per year, to cover the administrative costs of the operation of the program by the Housing Finance Agency, including managing on behalf of the Administrative Office of the Courts the database identified in G.S. 45-103, expenses associated with informing homeowners of State resources available for foreclosure prevention, expenses associated with connecting homeowners to available resources, and assistance to homeowners and counselors in communicating with mortgage servicers.

(2) An amount, not to exceed the greater of three million four hundred thousand dollars ($3,400,000) or forty percent (40%) per year, to make grants to or reimburse nonprofit housing counseling agencies for providing foreclosure prevention counseling services to homeowners involved in the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project.

(3) An amount, not to exceed thirty percent (30%) of the total funds collected per year, to make grants to or reimburse nonprofit legal service providers for services rendered on behalf of homeowners in danger of defaulting on a home loan to avoid foreclosure, limited to legal representation such as negotiation of loan modifications or other loan work-out solutions, defending homeowners in foreclosure or representing homeowners in bankruptcy proceedings, and research and counsel to homeowners regarding the status of their home loans.

(4) Any funds remaining in the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Trust Fund as of June 30, 2011, and any funds remaining in the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Trust Fund upon the expiration of each subsequent fiscal year shall be directed to the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund.

(e) The Housing Finance Agency shall have the discretion to enter into an agreement to administer funds under subdivisions (2) and (3) of subsection (d) of this section in a manner that complements or supplements other State and federal programs directed to prevent foreclosures for homeowners participating in the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project.

(f) The Housing Finance Agency shall report to the General Assembly describing the operation of the program established by this act not later than May 1 of each year until the funds are completely disbursed from the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Trust Fund. Information in the report shall be presented in aggregate form and may include the number of clients helped, the effectiveness of the funds in preventing home foreclosure, recommendations for further efforts needed to reduce foreclosures, and provide any other aggregated information the Housing Finance Agency determines is pertinent or that the General Assembly requests. (2008-226, ss. 1, 5; 2010-168, ss. 1, 9; 2011-288, s. 3; 2012-79, s. 2.17(c), (f), (g).)