Tens of thousands of Oregonians have lost their homes since the housing bubble burst in 2008. Recent investigations in the US have determined that as many as 84% of foreclosures are illegal because the lenders are not following the laws regarding the chain of custody of title, the legally required recording of title transfers, etc. Two Oregon Federal Judges recently ruled that MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System) is in violation of Oregon law, yet an estimated 40-50% of all Oregon mortgages have been filed through MERS.
The Oregon legislature recently passed S.B. 1552 that will offer homeowners and renters more protection from foreclosure fraud, but, as of this date Governor Kitzhaber has not yet signed the bill into law, and, even if he signed it today it won't take effect for 91 days. We need action NOW to ensure that not a single Oregonian looses their home to foreclosure fraud!
S.B. 1552 requires that lenders have face to face mediations with borrowers in order to attempt to resolve disputes with the hope of keeping more borrowers in their homes. Currently, many homeowners have complained that they are simply pushed around from one lender's representative to another until they are so far behind in their payments that the lender can begin foreclosure proceedings. The bill also mandates that lenders notify borrowers, in writing via certified mail, that they are initiating the mediation process called for in S.B. 1552. Many homeowners have been upset by the lack of clear communication from lenders, oftentimes they would hear nothing at all until they got a notice of auction date for their home with sometimes as little as 10 days notice.
SB 1552 also ends the atrocious practice called "dual-tracking" wherein mortgage lender's representatives would claim to be working with a borrower on enrolling them into a mortgage modification program (and would accept reduced payments) while at the same time proceeding with foreclosure plans against the borrower (without disclosing this) who is now delinquent because they were never actually enrolled in a mortgage modification program as promised and their agreed upon reduced payments have made them delinquent and subject to foreclosure.
Lenders and their agents will likely attempt to accelerate pending foreclosures in Oregon in order to avoid the borrower's protections created by S.B. 1552 and action is needed NOW to ensure that illegal foreclosures do not continue in the State of Oregon while waiting for the new law to take effect.
We call on Governor John Kitzhaber and Attorney General John Kroger to immediately put a moratorium on all mortgage foreclosures in Oregon until S.B. 1552 is both signed into law and actually takes effect.