Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 7:44 PM By Elliot Njus, The Oregonian
Senate Bill 1552 took effect on July 11, 2012, which means that Oregon homeowners who slip into default or fall behind on their mortgage payments will now have the right to meet in person with their loan servicer and a mediator to explore alternatives to foreclosure.
Another benefit Oregonians will see as a result of 1552 is the end of the dual track system, in which one arm of a lender actively negotiates a modification with a homeowner while a different arm simultaneously pursues foreclosure.
The program takes aim at the high foreclosure rate in the wake of the recession. In mediation, homeowners can try to convince their lender they can make payments on a modified loan, or at least avoid foreclosure by selling the home or just turning over the keys.
Those already in foreclosure before Wednesday won’t be eligible to request mediation. Only borrowers newly in default can participate. And smaller lenders — those that completed fewer than 250 residential foreclosures in the past year — can opt out.
To read more about the program on OregonLive.com click here: Oregon Foreclosure Mediation Program
Visit the program website: Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance Mediation Program
Note:The article states that “homeowners have the right to meet with their loan servicer and a mediator…” but in reality, Oregon law requires the beneficiary under residential trust deed (your lender) to participate in mediation before initiating a non-judicial foreclosure. (There are exceptions for smaller lenders.) Some real estate attorneys and members of the mortgage community are speculating that we may see an increase in judicial foreclosures as lenders try to avoid the mediation process.