.State figures show the number of North Carolina homeowners threatened with foreclosure reached an all-time high last year.
The Administrative Office of the Courts says more than 45-thousand-500 foreclosure filings were recorded in 2006. It had dropped to just under 43-thousand in 2005.
In a foreclosure filing, a lender asks that the house be sold to pay off the debt of unmade payments. It's one of the first steps in the foreclosure process and experts estimate that about half of foreclosure filings result in owners losing their houses.
Owners can stop foreclosures by selling their houses to pay off the mortgage, refinancing, filing for bankruptcy or trying to make back payments.
Experts say the growing availability of mortgage loans art partly to blame for the increase.
A special committee of the state House is looking for ways to reduce foreclosures and is expected to push for new laws when Legislature convenes on January 24th.