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Housing & Homelessness

Moratorium on residential mortgage foreclosures will expire as pandemic rages on

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Oregon Housing and Community Services
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Thousands of Oregon families were able to stay in their home during the pandemic because of the residential mortgage moratorium. The protection expires this week.

Oregon’s foreclosure moratorium ends December 31. Beginning in January, homeowners who used this protection may be expected to resume mortgage payments and catch up on those missed.

The moratorium was established to prevent foreclosures for people who lost income or couldn’t pay their mortgage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Oregon Housing and Community Services
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Delia Hernandez is with Oregon Housing and Community Services. She says there are other resources for homeowners in arrears. “The best thing we could tell people is not to panic. There is help available,” she said. “Homeowners who are behind on payments—they may also start getting calls and mail starting on January 1st- so anyone who is contacted by their lender should respond immediately.”

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Oregon Housing and Community Services
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When the foreclosure moratorium ends, homeowners in arrears can get free help from certified housing counselors to catch up on mortgage payments.

Hernandez said with the end of the foreclosure moratorium, she expects to see an upsurge in scams with dishonest offers of help. She reminded homeowners to only work with certified housing counselors and remember that their services are free.

Search the full list of free certified housing counselors by county. Homeowners should be aware that some housing counseling agencies may be closed until Jan. 3, 2022 and may take longer to respond due to the holidays and remote working policies.