Oregon agencies combine efforts for foreclosure prevention campaign
Several Oregon agencies have combined their efforts to begin a statewide foreclosure prevention campaign. Through this awareness campaign, Oregon Housing and Community Services, Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon Division of Financial Regulation and Oregon Consumer Justice aim to help homeowners stay in their homes.
Delia Hernandez, OHCS Public Information Officer, told KLCC that the effort “focuses on traditionally underserved populations and those less able to recover.”
According to data used by OHCS, the number of foreclosures went from 619 in January to 858 in April. This is just a snapshot of the issue, but shows a steady increase since the foreclosure moratorium expired at the end of 2021.
The main feature of the campaign is a website called oregonhomeownerhelp.org. It provides a central location of resources for homeowners, including financial assistance, legal services and housing counselors. The focus is on homeowners who are at risk of falling behind on their mortgage payments or who are already in default.
According to Hernandez every foreclosure is different and many people are finding themselves in this situation due to inflation, interest rates, and the ending of the moratorium.
“Because some homeowners definitely don’t know that they have options. And when you’re in a situation like facing foreclosure, it could be a very vulnerable situation,” said Hernandez. “So that’s why we urge people to talk to a housing counselor.”
The foreclosure process can be a prolonged one and Hernandez stressed that homeowners are not alone and resources are often free.
She added that scammers are trying to take advantage of these situations so homeowners should be wary of notices that look legitimate but promote quick fixes. Hernandez said to contact your loan servicer directly to verify the information.