Despite numerous encouraging examples about the healing economy provided in recent posts, many Oregon residents still suffer from financial challenges. These may either be long-term or could have been brought on suddenly by unforeseen circumstances, such as an illness, divorce or unemployment. Not surprisingly, these situations can place a great strain on families, especially when they result in additional hardships such as losing property to repay creditors.
A common and heartbreaking consequence of financial hardship is home repossession. When homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments, mortgage lenders often swoop in to begin foreclosure proceedings and take control of the property. Recent changes to Oregon law now make it mandatory for lenders to go through a mediation process with homeowners who wish to avoid foreclosure. This can give borrowers a chance to reach a resolution with their mortgage lenders by negotiating plans to catch up on past-due payments.
Even so, home foreclosures have dramatically risen in Oregon. This may be due in part to lenders pushing for foreclosure soon after the required mediation conference. The areas in the state with the highest foreclosure numbers amount to one out of every 880 housing units being in some stage of the foreclosure process. Statewide, home foreclosures increased by about 90 percent in November from the same time last year.
There are several types of debt relief, including some types of bankruptcy, which can help homeowners start over, rebuild their credit and hold onto their homes. It can help to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the options available that can help them avoid foreclosure.
Source: The Oregonian, “Oregon’s foreclosure bulge continues, November data show,” Mike Francis, Dec. 10, 2014