Foreclosure Avoidance Representation
Foreclosure Avoidance Representation
In 2013, the State of Oregon passed legislation to help homeowners avoid the foreclosure of their homes. This requires lenders who have engaged in more than 175 foreclosure actions in a year to request a face-to-face between themselves and the borrower. A neutral third-party negotiator oversees a meeting between you and your creditor in the hopes of coming to a resolution that allows the bank to get their money while you get to keep your home. This allows you to prevent the bank from taking your home away from you and then selling it at auction. You are allowed to have an attorney represent you at this hearing. Note that your creditor will have a legal team represent their interests, so it certainly makes sense to have someone on your side advocating for your interests.
In this article, we’ll discuss how Oregon’s foreclosure avoidance program works and what you can expect throughout the process.
What is the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance Program?
The Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance Program (OFA) is a mandatory process that lenders must initiate prior to foreclosing on a home. If the lender has initiated more than 175 foreclosure actions in a year, they must request a face-to-face meeting with the homeowner.
The homeowner is required to pay a fee, meet with a housing counselor, submit certain documents, and show up at the meeting.
The lender is required to provide information related to the mortgage agreement and send a representative with the power to negotiate on the lender’s behalf.
The fee is either $50 or $175 depending on your household income. If you miss the deadline, you waive your rights to have your foreclosure mediated via the OFA. While those who pay the fee are entitled to have a housing counselor guide them through the process, it may be worth your while to have an attorney represent your interests.
How Can a Foreclosure Defense Attorney Help?
The OFA process is relatively simple, but knowing what information you’ll be required to provide at the meeting is where most homeowners trip up. Essentially, you will be requesting a modification of your lending contract and your lender’s representative must entertain this request, but is not obligated to accept it. Banks tend to be sticklers for documentation, so even one missing signature could end up stalling the entire process.
Additionally, while housing counselors can provide useful information, they are not attorneys who are advocating for your interests, necessarily. Homeowners report frustration as banks ask for the same information over and over, sometimes claiming that they lost the information or it was never received. Documents that were submitted two months ago, may no longer be considered valid by the bank. This can exhaust your patience, and, in fact, that’s what it’s meant to do. In this economy, the bank stands more to gain from foreclosing than they do from negotiating a new lending contract. With property values skyrocketing all over the country, the lender has the upper hand in any negotiation.
Having a Eugene, Oregon foreclosure defense attorney handle your obligations ensures that the representative from the bank will play fair and follow the rules set forth by the OFA. We also ensure that you provide all of the necessary documents and can anticipate which documents may give the lender cause to stonewall the process. This way, if the bank claims that they did not receive the documents, your foreclosure defense attorney can show that they were sent via certified mail and accepted on a specific date.
What Happens if My Loan Modification is Not Approved?
This is where a foreclosure defense attorney can really be of assistance. A foreclosure defense attorney carries the leverage of a bankruptcy filing over the lender’s head. If you file under Chapter 13, and foreclosure is a common reason for doing so, the lender may be required to accept a loan modification agreement that is less to their liking than the offer being made. A skilled foreclosure defense attorney can ensure that you receive the best possible advice and negotiate a loan modification that fits with your finances and doesn’t require that you file for bankruptcy to keep your home.
Of course, if the lender is unwilling to budge, then you still have the option of filing for bankruptcy and you won’t have to retain a new lawyer to handle your case. This ensures continuity of service and gives you an opportunity to work with a lawyer who is already familiar with your case.
In addition, if you have a second or third mortgage that is not secured by equity, you may be able to strip those mortgages in Chapter 13 and get them discharged entirely.
Lastly, if your lender has behaved unethically or illegally, a foreclosure defense attorney can ensure that they are held accountable and protect your interest in your home.
Contact a Eugene, OR Foreclosure Defense Attorney Today
If you’ve received a “Notice of Resolution Conference,” then you’re on notice that your home is in foreclosure and the window to resolve the issue is beginning to close. Before attempting to resolve the issue with the bank, you should contact Butcher Law Office, LLC for more information on how we can help protect your home, give you leverage during loan modification negotiations, and ensure that the lender abides by the terms of the OFA.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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