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SECU partners with others to fight foreclosures
RALEIGH, N.C. (9/10/09)--State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) and its members are partnering with the Center for Responsible Lending, the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks (NCCOB) and Capital Broadcasting Corporation to launch a major media effort to reach homeowners at risk of foreclosure. The “Fight NC Foreclosure” campaign aims to educate the public on the foreclosure crisis and provide guidance on where to turn for help. The campaign will include repeated public service announcements (PSAs) on prime-time television, combined with a visible presence on a website. “Fight NC Foreclosure” is set to launch with a press conference Tuesday and run through December. The PSAs will highlight the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project, bringing North Carolinians an awareness of resources available to prevent foreclosures. The project aims to increase the percentage of North Carolina homeowners who save their homes, and also prevent consumers from becoming victims of foreclosure scams, especially scams affecting those with subprime mortgages. While the credit union has never, and will never, originate subprime loans, SECU, as a non-profit cooperative, feels strongly about helping North Carolinians who may be in subprime situations, SECU said. And, SECU will assist its own members who have experienced loss of income in recent months, the credit union added. In February, SECU launched a Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP), which offers members an opportunity to meet in person with a senior officer of SECU and develop an individualized financial plan if members have concerns about future payments on their SECU mortgage. Options in MAP include mortgage loan extensions, mortgage loan modifications or refinances, and partial payment alternatives. Budgeting, financial counseling and overall debt restructuring are also part of the MAP initiative--free to the SECU membership. “Based on our most recent data, we estimate that one out of every 12 mortgage-holders in North Carolina will face foreclosure between now and 2013 unless drastic steps are taken to reverse the trend,” said Susan Lupton, senior policy associate with the Center for Responsible Lending. “The ‘Fight NC Foreclosure’ outreach campaign will hopefully make a tremendous difference in educating those who desperately need the help to stay in their homes. We are extremely pleased to have SECU as a partner on this campaign.” Mark Pearce, NCCOB deputy commissioner added: “Foreclosures don’t have to happen. Even if our state’s citizens have experienced hard times, they may be able to keep their home if they take advantage of available resources. The state of North Carolina has a network of free counselors and partners like SECU, who have processes in place to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.” “SECU understands the importance of helping members improve their financial lives--it’s the mission of SECU and goes hand in hand with the ‘People Helping People’ philosophy of the Credit Union,” said Phil Greer, senior vice president of SECU’s Loan Administration department. “And even if our cooperative was not part of the subprime debacle, we must help to educate all North Carolinians on the resources available to them during these difficult economic times. “The ‘Fight NC Foreclosures’ campaign is a great way to get the word out to all North Carolinians, letting them know of available assistance,” he added. “We strongly encourage all SECU members who are struggling with possible foreclosure or loss of income to reach out to the Credit Union. We’re here to help.”
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