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Oregon House passes new foreclosure moratorium

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A measure that would reinstate and extend Oregon’s moratorium on foreclosures until Sept. 1 during the COVID-19 pandemic has passed in the state’s House of Representatives.

Unlike the bill that was passed by lawmakers last June, the new legislation, HB 2009, would not protect commercial property owners — those who own more than five properties or properties with more than four housing units.

The proposed legislation, which passed in the House 38-21 Tuesday, moves to the Senate.

In March, more than 6% — or more than 65,000 Oregon homeowners — said they were not caught up on their mortgage payments, based on the United States Census Bureau’s most recent Household Pulse Survey.

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Oregon House Democrats' news release:

House Democrats Vote to Protect Homeowners by Passing Foreclosure Moratorium
HB 2009 would reestablish a residential foreclosure moratorium and provide protections for homeowners during COVID-19 pandemic
SALEM, OR— As thousands of homeowners face the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon House of Representatives today passed House Bill 2009 to reestablish a temporary statewide moratorium on foreclosures.

The vote comes as Democrats push to provide financial relief for Oregonians most affected by the current housing crisis, economic recession and COVID-19 pandemic.

“Having a roof over your head is crucial to protecting the health and wellbeing of Oregonians,” said Rep. Paul Holvey (D-Eugene), who carried the bill on the floor. “Providing homeowners with a safety net while they get back on their feet will give Oregonians the stability they need to move forward.”

HB 2009 provides several protections for homeowners, pausing foreclosure proceedings temporarily for qualifying borrowers, delaying payment requirements and lowering the exemption threshold. The bill reestablishes the moratorium through July 1, 2021 to small residential borrowers and gives the governor the ability to extend the moratorium for 90-day increments through the end of the year as the legislature anticipates federal relief distribution.

“Our ongoing recession has been the most unequal in modern American history,” said Rep. Julie Fahey (D-Eugene), the chair of the House Committee on Housing. “By advancing this residential foreclosure moratorium, we’re avoiding the mistakes of the Great Recession that caused generational harm for families, and we’re keeping Oregonians in their homes during the worst public health crisis of our lifetime.”

In 2020, there was a 250% increase in Americans who fell at least three months behind on their mortgage. The more than 2 million households in this situation nationally was at the highest point since the Great Recession in 2010.

The Legislature previously passed HB 4204 in June 2020 to place a moratorium on commercial and residential foreclosures through December 31, 2020.

Having passed the House 38 to 21, HB 2009 will move onto the Senate for consideration. 
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