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The state of Oregon's foreclosure picture

Oregon's foreclosure rate is going down as the economy slowly improves, but too many Oregonians still face potentially losing their homes because they cannot make their house payments.
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    December 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The state of Oregon's foreclosure picture

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Oregon's foreclosure rate is going in the right direction -- down -- as the economy slowly improves, but too many Oregonians still face the grim specter of potentially losing their homes because they cannot make their house mortgage payments.

Foreclosure is the legal remedy for a lender when a mortgage borrower cannot make the required payments and defaults, allowing the bank to take steps to put the house up for sale to satisfy the unpaid balance of the loan.

Current foreclosure numbers

In December 2013, CoreLogic released its October National Foreclosure Report, in which it reported 48,000 completed foreclosures nationally for the month, almost one-third less than one year earlier in October 2012.

The Portland Business Journal reported on CoreLogic's Oregon findings. Statewide, 2.5 percent of mortgaged houses were in foreclosure, 0.4 percent lower than in October 2012. In the Portland metro, those numbers are slightly better at 2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Oregon's 2.5 percent foreclosure rate is still higher than all of its neighboring states except Nevada, which has been in the news for its particularly challenging foreclosure picture.

Public programs

The state of Oregon has detailed public information on its websitefor Oregonians facing the possibility of foreclosure. Both federal and state foreclosure relief programs provide ways to restructure, modify or refinance mortgages to make payments more affordable for eligible homeowners. Other types of government assistance for homeowners may be available depending on the circumstances.

Oregon foreclosure law

Oregon law provides for two different foreclosure types: judicial and nonjudicial. In the judicial process, the bank takes the homeowner to state court to get a court order for a sale of the mortgaged property to satisfy the outstanding mortgage balance. A judicial foreclosure has a short period of redemption during which the defaulting homeowner can buy the house back from the buyer after the forced sale.

Oregon's nonjudicial foreclosure process is available for certain types of homes if the loan documents include a deed of trust. In this process, a trustee facilitates the foreclosure by filing necessary documents to announce a public sale of the property. The nonjudicial process includes the right of the borrower to sit down with the lender in mediation to try to negotiate an arrangement that will avoid the sale if possible.

Legal remedies

A foreclosure can be stopped by the borrower's filing of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 in particular may allow the borrower to make up past due payments, avoid ultimate foreclosure and even eliminate second mortgages, in some cases.

The bottom line is that the legal remedies for an Oregon homeowner facing potential foreclosure are very complex and a consultation with an experienced foreclosure lawyer well versed in consumer bankruptcy is a smart idea. The attorney can advise the borrower about his or her options that can include negotiation with the lender, use of a government program, bankruptcy and more.

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