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Temporary Protections for Homeowners Facing Foreclosures

image courtesy of bankforclosure.comIn 2009, the Oregon legislature enacted a temporary change in the laws governing home foreclosures in order to address the current economic market and to provide homeowners with an opportunity to modify their loans to avoid foreclosures.  The new law requires that lenders inform homeowners of their right to request a loan modification and to process a loan modification request by the borrower in good faith and in a timely manner.  If a loan modification is submitted by the homeowner by the required deadline, the pending foreclosure sale cannot be completed until the lender responds to the request. 

If the lender denies the request, it must notify the homeowner in writing and explain how the lender or its agent determined that the borrower was not eligible for the modification.  The lender must execute and cause to be recorded in the County records a sworn, notarized statement explaining how the lender complied with these requirements. Homeowners and lenders should review the lender’s affidavit closely for accuracy, as false or inaccurate statements in the affidavit may be grounds to prevent or unwind a foreclosure sale, and may constitute unfair or deceptive trade practices under Oregon law.  The Oregon Department of Justice, as well as many other state Attorneys General, has been investigating the lenders’ practices with respect to the new legal requirements to ensure that foreclosures are not based on improper lender affidavits. The 2009 (and amended in 2010) Oregon legislation requiring these additional steps by lenders in processing foreclosures and loan modification requests will be repealed effective January 2, 2012. Read more about the Oregon Department of Justice’s investigations at http://www.doj.state.or.us/releases/2010/rel101310.shtml

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We regularly update clients about changes in real estate law and on industry trends. This includes briefing clients on legislative proposals in the federal tax, housing and other legal areas affecting their businesses. Staying current enables you to anticipate and prevent legal problems as well as capitalize on new developments.
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