Governor Perdue signed the Consumer Economic Protection Act into law Wednesday. It will extend the time homeowners have to work with lenders before a foreclosure hearing. "Most importantly on behalf of all the homeowners who are going to be safe, better taken care of because of this groundbreaking legislation,” Perdue said. And with that, Governor Bev Perdue signed the Consumer Economic Protection Act into law. It gives Clerks of Court the power to continue a foreclosure hearing up to sixty days, thus giving homeowners more time to negotiate with lenders. "What's happened in the past, is by the time the lenders finally got to the paperwork and were finally ready to work something out, the sale date's a week away,” said Brian Edwards of Trademark Investments. Edwards works with homeowners facing foreclosure, and says with all the backlogged paperwork, this law will be a big help. “Everyone feels like their head is being held under water with this economy and they don't know what to do and this gives everyone a breath to step back and see what's going on and gives them the time they need to work something out with their lender." The law also allows homeowners to put up less money to file an appeal of a foreclosure order and establishes new rules to protect people from unfair debt collection by debt buyers. When it comes to buying more time before a foreclosure hearing, Edwards says the consumer economic protection act is key. "Good, honest, hardworking families are in situations that they've never experienced before and if you don't know what to do when you're in foreclosure, it takes you a month or two to figure out what you need to do and what your options are." The hope is the new grace period will allow homeowners to work out the best deal possible. It's estimated more than two million North Carolinians will see their property values drop over the next three years because of foreclosures in their neighborhoods. Governor Perdue and Attorney General Roy Cooper hope this new law will help out everyone affected by foreclosures.
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