State Starts Do-Over on Foreclosure Mediation

August 4, 2013
Oregonian (OR)  
mortgage lending news

Oregon relaunched its foreclosure mediation program on Aug. 4. Last year's original program was intended to force lenders to meet with homeowners before foreclosing on a mortgage, but the rules did not include foreclosures that lenders filed in court. Under the revised initiative, lenders must meet with struggling homeowners and discuss alternatives regardless of the foreclosure method. "From the homeowner's perspective, the big thing is just getting the banks to the table," said Mike Niemeyer from the Oregon Department of Justice, which oversees the program. Mortgage servicers will have to offer a resolution conference to homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments before the servicer initiates a foreclosure process. Banks must obtain a certificate of compliance indicating that they offered a resolution conference and that the meeting was held, if the homeowner opted in. Homeowners at risk of foreclosure can opt in to a resolution conference process and schedule a meeting with a housing counselor. Niemeyer said participation will start slow, as banks adjust to the new system.
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