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Oregon home mortgage foreclosures moratorium expires on Friday; free help available

Oregon Housing and Community Services

Gov. Brown, state housing agency urge homeowners to get counseling, other help

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — The foreclosure moratorium in Oregon that will end on Friday, Dec. 31 was established to prevent foreclosures for those who lost income or were unable to pay their mortgage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation also allowed impacted homeowners to defer their mortgage payments through Dec. 31, 2021.

Homeowners who have fallen behind or are at risk of missing a payment on their mortgage can get free help from certified housing counselors around the state to learn about their options, Oregon Housing and Community Services said Tuesday in a news release, which continues in full below:

Homeowners who are on a forbearance plan can also get help from their housing counselors to work with their lender on exiting their forbearance plan and making up any deferred payments.

House Bill 2009 authorized Governor Kate Brown to extend the moratorium twice, but the governor cannot extend the moratorium beyond Dec. 31. Beginning in January, homeowners who used this protection may be expected to resume mortgage payments and select an option to cure their missed payments.

“We’ve worked hard throughout the pandemic to keep Oregonians housed and to provide a range of resources to support both homeowners and renters,” Kate Brown said. “With the foreclosure moratorium ending, now is a critical time for homeowners who need assistance to take advantage of other resources. I urge homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure to get assistance as early as possible. There is free housing counseling, and other resources are available that may be able to help them find a way to stay in their home.”

Long-term solutions are needed to stabilize homeowners experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. In the meantime, there are workout options for those in active foreclosure or for the thousands of homeowners in need of assistance to stay safely and stably housed. Most homeowners will need to work with their mortgage servicer or lender to select a workout option.

Free help is available

Nonprofit homeownership centers offer counseling services for homeowners, including budgeting tools for new situations and evaluation of mortgage workout options, such as modifications or adding deferred payments to the end of a mortgage. Housing counselors are knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated professionals who can help homeowners communicate with their mortgage servicers and explore their best options for keeping their homes. Counselors can also help homeowners with available mortgage assistance and foreclosure avoidance programs.

Search the full list of free certified housing counselors by county. Homeowners should be aware that some housing counseling agencies may be closed until Jan. 3, 2022 and may take longer to respond due to the holidays and remote working policies. 

In addition to connecting with a certified housing counselor, Oregon homeowners should directly contact their mortgage servicers and lenders to see what types of mortgage assistance and foreclosure prevention programs are available.

Homeowners who are behind on payments may already have been contacted by their lenders or may start receiving calls and mail starting Jan. 1. Anyone who is contacted by their lender should respond immediately. Homeowners who communicate with their lenders and servicers have some additional protections and usually have more time to figure out their options. 

“Each person has a different mortgage and a different financial situation, so modifications and payment options will vary,” said Emily Reiman, chief executive officer at DevNW, one of the Oregon nonprofits that offers free housing counseling and other community services. “Housing counselors can help a homeowner determine what type of loan they have and explain the options available for their situation. We can also help homeowners communicate with their lender and double-check that homeowners are being offered the assistance they are eligible for.”

Avoiding fraud

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services recommends being extremely cautious with offers to help from unauthorized companies or people. Homeowners are urged not to provide financial or personal information unless they verify the company or person’s licensing status. 

"Unfortunately, with the end of the foreclosure moratorium, we expect to see an upsurge in scams with dishonest offers of help,” said Chris Coughlin of Oregon Consumer Justice. “Homeowners should respond to their mortgage lender and reach out to a certified housing counselor who can provide free help in figuring out next steps." 

There are a number of common warning signs homeowners should look for that may indicate a scam. If a homeowner suspects they’re being contacted by a scammer, they can report it to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Oregon Department of Justice or the U.S. Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General.

To verify a lender’s license, visit the Division of Financial Regulation’s license page and compare it with the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) license number. This number must be included on all advertising materials and should be easy to find. To verify a housing counseling agency’s status with the state, make sure they are listed on the OHCS website

KTVZ news sources

Comments

19 Comments

  1. Seems to me with the housing market as it is in Bend – Deschutes county – these people should be able to refinance and use their equity to repay the missed payments.

    1. Seems to me you don’t know anything about. Just a Boomer who knows how to type. Explain, how can a person who can’t make payments ReFi? What bank would do that!?!? I hope you don’t have anyone depending on you for your biz prowess.

      1. When someone can’t afford their mortgage the correct choice is to sell the house and pay off the mortgage. But, I know, the government needs to step in and make the problem worse compliments of the tax payers….

  2. Landlords will be signing up for this next round of free money with one hand even as they sign the eviction notices with the other. But dont worry, they will be telling us the entire time how they are broke.

    Those poor, poor rich people.

  3. Tips to pay your mortgage..
    1) go to work
    2) stop buying dutch dummies and star bucks..I see you backing up traffic on 97 business
    3) lay off the nicotine and booze..big one there..that **** is expensive. Ask me how I know haha!
    4) look at your monthly bills? Internet, streaming, phone.. is there something you can cut?..we did just fine without those growing up..but maybe not now?
    5) go to work..I know it’s redundant but you can pick and choose what you want to do right now..hey get a city/country/state Job.. get pers. Be a cop, plow roads, inspect all the new construction in bend.. bartend or wait tables for tips..(all time high).. if you’re a young kid..go get a job in fast food.. barista or anything in customer service.. just get working!!

  4. What? They told me not to go to work or pay my bills..well when you sign a contract you actually made a promise to deliver..your choice. find away to deliver on that contract or pay the consequences. We have free mortgage counselors.. are you kidding? What are they going to do? There are jobs everywhere get after it..oh and watch out for the scammers because they are working harder than you are..

  5. I feel the Oregon legislature and Kate Brown has given people a false sense of security by telling them they don’t have to pay their mortgage.. how absurd. It will be interesting to compare the homeless situation next year compared to this year..

  6. When I declare that Kalamity Kate is the worst Governor this state has ever had to suffer through… this is why ! She was one of the first West Coast Demokants to shut down- lock down- Break down Oregon’s economy- laws- and state Constitution… over a mild virus- now people are being forced into poverty ! Many of these people had a chance to recall and throw her out of office- too late- now the reality of homelessness kicks in- and where’s Kate ???

  7. BTW- everyone notice that there are no numbers attached to the number of mortgages in default- the number of families affected- no numbers whatsoever… Why ??? Because the level of intent here will shock you !

  8. With the strong housing market, another option if you can’t afford payments is to sell your house for a handsome profit and move to a more affordable market to buy a new home for a fraction of our market values or rent for a while. But, I know the nanny government must hold everyone’s hand at all times. Compliments to the tax payers who fund all this stuff. It’s amazing watching the government take an absolute central role in every aspect of every persons life. There soon should be zero need for any personal responsibility because the government will do absolutely everything for you.

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