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Revamped program helps owners avoid foreclosure


Changes in housing market — Homeowners who are 30 days late now have the option to meet face-to-face with their lender

Oregon homeowners who are 30 or more days late on their mortgage or have a verifiable financial hardship, now have the option to request to meet face-to-face with their lender to discuss potential ways to avoid foreclosure.

This is all possible due to the passage of Senate Bill 558, which went into effect in August. Unlike the old law, the new law applies to both judicial and non-judicial foreclosures. The new law also requires that a resolution conference be held before lenders can proceed with a foreclosure.

The overhauled program, called the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance (OFA) Program brings together the homeowner, the lender and a facilitator to discuss alternatives to foreclosure, including loan modification, refinance, short sale, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or other preventative options.

“Homeowners who are behind on their house payments can now meet directly with their lender to talk about how they can avoid foreclosure,” said Elise Hui, executive director for the Housing Authority of Yamhill County. “The housing authority of Yamhill County is ready and able to help homeowners learn about their options and hopefully avoid foreclosure.”

A resolution conference is not guaranteed. Homeowners must receive and respond to a notice of a request for a resolution conference from their lender, or request a resolution conference following a state approved housing counseling agency certifies that they are 30 days late or have a verifiable financial hardship.

Homeowners who are at risk for foreclosure should start by finding a state approved housing counseling agency by visiting www. oregonhomeownersupport. gov or by calling 211 toll-free from any phone in the state.

Those who wish to participate in the program should visit www.foreclosure mediationor.org or call 1-855-658-6733 to learn more.