RALEIGH, N.C. (9/15/09)--North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue signed a new law last week that will give state homeowners a 60-day reprieve before their homes undergo foreclosure (CongressDaily Sept. 14). The law allows a clerk of court to postpone a foreclosure hearing for up to 60 days to allow the homeowner additional time to work out a payment plan with the mortgage holder and to remain in the home. Nearly 40,000 homes in North Carolina have gone into foreclosure during 2009. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, more than 2.2 million North Carolina homeowners will see property values decline during the next three years because of foreclosures in their neighborhood (ConsumerAffairs.com Sept. 14). Perdue said the legislation, which sets new rules for debt collectors, protects both homeowners and the state economy from the effects of foreclosure. The law "makes it easier for homeowners to work out a deal with their lenders and avoid foreclosure," said Perdue.