NECAC has been awarded a $10,500 grant to help people who are having trouble paying their home loans.
The grant for the Making Homes Affordable program covers Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, St. Charles, Shelby and Warren counties.
It's from NeighborWorks America, a public non-profit organization established by Congress in 1978 as the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation. It creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing.
NECAC Deputy Director for Housing Developments Carla Potts said the grant will help the agency work with people who are struggling to pay mortgages.
People are eligible if they are delinquent or in danger of falling behind on loan payments and if their mortgage was obtained before January 1, 2009.
"Too many people wait until the foreclosure letters are mailed," Potts said. "You can call now and say 'I'm in trouble' and we'll help. Even if you're just a month behind on your mortgage, you could qualify."
Potts said NECAC will work with lenders on extending loans, reducing the interest rate and even forgiving principal. NECAC will file all of the necessary paperwork to document the hardship. Lenders then will be able to determine which solution will work best.
Potts said too many people let pride get in the way of assistance.
"You just hope you can get it straightened out," Potts said. "You hate to hate to ask for help."
Potts said people also think they have to be in foreclosure before assistance is available.
"That's just not true," she said. "We can help right away—before you reach the edge of the cliff. This is a wonderful opportunity, and we hope people take advantage of it."