Oregon House Bill Rules Committee: Approve a Hearing for House Bill 3499
Oregonians need assurance of healthy housing and don't want to discover any unnecessary surprises when it comes to purchasing a home. My family purchased a home that we later discovered was contaminated with residue used to produce methamphetamine. This discovery was made after my family became ill and my two-year-old son couldn't even drink water because the pain in his mouth was so severe. A simple $50 test kit confirmed our suspicions, we were living in a former meth-lab. According to Oregon disclosure laws, sellers are required to disclose if a property has been used to cook meth, but this law doesn't apply to foreclosures by banks who have no prior knowledge of the home's history. This information is not easily accessible to general home buyers. House Bill 3499 (http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2011/HB3499/) would provide home buyers with a warning (similiar to that of lead based paint and asbestos) prior to purchase that the home has not been tested for methamphetamine residue. This Bill is a simple inexpensive way for home buyers to be better informed before unknowingly placing their family's lives in danger. My family supports House Bill 3499 and any other effort to prevent future home buyers and families from experiencing the same nightmare we have faced. Please stand with us and agree to a hearing of this Bill. It literally could save an innocent life. Due to the rise of foreclosures, the risks of former meth-labs being sold to innocent families for homes is increasing, and such Bills are necessary for prevention.
Freddie Mac: Stop selling former meth labs to unsuspecting buyers
When my wife and I learned that we could afford a home, we thought it was too good to be true. It turned out that it was. Within weeks of moving in, my wife, my two year old son, and I all started experiencing terrible dry-mouth and mouth sores. Then we started to have trouble breathing, and I developed sinus headaches and nosebleeds. It was so hard watching my son scream in pain when he tried to eat or even drink water. That's when we learned why we were getting sick: our new home used to be a meth lab. My home was contaminated with methamphetamine. But even worse, it was filled with traces of the toxic stew used to cook the drug. In a sense, my family got off easy - we learned why we were getting sick early on. Other families spend years unaware that their homes are making them sicker. Children my son's age sometimes develop lifelong illnesses and developmental disabilities as a result of their exposure to these chemicals. Freddie Mac advertises“Our qualifying homes come with a reviewed title, and a repaired living space making them easier to sell and improving home values in your territory. We sell our homes responsibly. Freddie Mac is committed to having the best property maintenance and sales standards in the country.” We had no reason to expect otherwise. Instead, they irresponsibly sold us a ticking time bomb of dangerous chemicals without even telling us. Meanwhile, we've had to make our mortgage payments in addition to renting a new home and replacing all of our personal items that became contaminated from being in the house. Freddie Mac won't take any responsibility for misleading us about the safety of our home, and attorneys just tell us that we should've read the fine print. Tell that to my son. Simply walking away will not only negatively impact our credit, but would enable banks to continue this trend of severe negligence. My family is drowning, and we need your help. Please sign my petition demanding that Freddie Mac cover the cost of decontaminating our home, in addition to covering our housing costs and cost of replacing our furniture and other household items. Most importantly, we want Freddie Mac to start regularly testing the homes it sells for meth contamination, just like it would for lead paint. Even more than our own woes, we are deeply concerned that this could happen to you.