RALEIGH, N.C. (4/3/09)--Since its Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) began in February, State Employees CU (SECU), Raleigh, N.C., has helped 1,400 members with loan balances totaling $140 million improve their financial situation. In many cases, members modified their mortgages and reduced their rates by 2% to 3%, which resulted in decreased monthly payments of several hundred dollars, SECU said. MAP helps members who may be in a delinquency or possible foreclosure situation, and who anticipate income loss soon. Options include mortgage loan extensions, mortgage loan modifications or refinances and partial-payment alternatives. Budgeting, financial counseling and debt restructuring also are part of MAP. Job loss, divorce and medical crises led to many delinquencies, SECU said. “As unemployment rates continue to rise and the job market wanes, more members are facing the difficult task of paying bills with less income,” said Phil Greer, SECU senior vice president of loan administration. “Some are facing home foreclosure, and SECU will do everything we can to keep that from happening.” SECU also developed the SECURE Mortgage. Members can consolidate their SECU mortgage balances and any other loans owed to SECU under a low-interest, first mortgage loan. Financing may be up to 100% of the value of the member’s primary residence. With a SECURE Mortgage, funds of up to $5,000 may also be advanced for an emergency savings account. SECU has $17 billion in assets.