Wilson Community Improvement Association’s (WCIA) Feb. 25 foreclosure prevention workshop drew more than 60 participants from across eastern North Carolina to learn about and connect with resources and information to avoid foreclosure.
WCIA, which receives core operating support from the Initiative, brought together homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes with 36 mortgage lenders and servicers, housing counselors, legal aid and foreclosure prevention program providers for information sessions and private counseling to review their mortgages and develop payment plans.
“Our focus from the beginning was to help as many homeowners as possible save their home from foreclosure by providing face-to-face contact with lenders, counselors, legal aid and other various agencies all on the same day,” said Barbara Blackson, executive director of WCIA. “The participants knew that participating in the workshop would allow them the opportunity to seek guidance in saving their homes.”
WCIA has a strong track record of helping homeowners avoid foreclosure in a county where one out of every 117 homes was foreclosed upon in 2011. Their critical, proactive counseling program provides guidance to homeowners who are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments due to either a loss of employment, underemployment, illness, increase in monthly living expenses or other circumstances beyond their control.
In 2011, WCIA provided foreclosure prevention counseling to 549 homeowners in Wilson and surrounding counties, resulting in 205 homes being saved through negotiating loan modifications and repayment plans. WCIA takes on approximately 45 new foreclosure prevention clients per month.
The workshop drew homeowners from Durham, Greenville, Goldsboro, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, Smithfield and Wilson.
N.C. Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield moderated the event. Participating organizations included N.C. Housing Finance Agency, N.C. Association of Community Development Corporations, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, N.C. Housing Coalition, Rocky Mount/Edgecombe Community Development Corp., Telamon Corp. and Legal Aid of North Carolina.
For information about WCIA, visit www.wciainc.org.