Oregon bill would leave mortgages on hold until end of June | Oregon

(The Center Square) – Homeowners in Oregon would have until June to catch up on their mortgage payments under a bill making its way through the state legislature.

State lawmakers passed temporary mortgage payment deferrals and foreclosure protections for residential and commercial borrowers through September 30, 2020 in a special session last summer. Governor Kate Brown has extended these protections until December 31, 2020.

2009 bill authorized the Senate Monday by a 19-9 vote and would allow homeowners to put their mortgages on hold until June 30. The bill was passed by the House in April. This chamber will hold an approval vote on the legislation before Brown enacts it.

Under the bill, the moratorium would apply to payments dating back to December 31, 2020. It could be extended if Brown chooses to extend Oregon’s state of emergency for COVID-19 until September 30 at the most. late.

As amended, HB 2009 requires borrowers to present proof of financial hardship or income reductions to benefit from the extended forbearance period, including referrals.

Supporters of the moratorium extension include housing advocacy groups Habitat for Humanity and the Oregon Housing Alliance. They argue that the moratorium on foreclosures will give homeowners the time they need to wait for payments from federal mortgage relief programs.

A US Census Bureau Household pulse survey March showed that about 65,000 Oregon households were behind on their mortgage payments.

“Many for-profit lenders are working diligently to help Oregon families stay stable,” said Shannon Vilhauer, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Oregon. “Unfortunately, as we saw during the mortgage crisis of 2007-2009, our country’s credit system is not structured to ensure maximum household stability.”

About 70% of Oregon’s residential mortgage loans are owned by federally controlled agencies like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. All are under foreclosure moratoriums until June 30.

Linda Navarro, president and CEO of the Oregon Bankers Association, points out that existing federal moratoria on foreclosures cover most Oregon households. The best option for the state, says Navarro, is to make good use of the federal dollars given to it by Congress.

“The truth is, most homeowners are up to date on their mortgages, and those who needed help and withholding payments due to COVID got it,” Navarro said in a statement to The Center. Square. “For those hardest hit by COVID who are at serious risk of losing their homes in the future, the best option is the payment assistance program Oregon is about to roll out with the federal funds we are. have received. “

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported in February that the total number of forbeared loans fell to 5.22%. That month, Oregon ranked 48th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in mortgage delinquencies.

The Oregon Banking Association was one of four Oregon banking groups to sue the state for moratorium on foreclosures in August, claiming it was undermining the Contractual clause of the US Constitution.

Oregon received about $ 4.1 billion from the US bailout package passed by Congress in March, which included some $ 2.6 billion for state projects. The state set up a $ 150 million owner compensation fund last year, leaving homeowners on the hook for forgiving 20% ​​of the rent back out of pocket.

A report According to the National Council of State Housing Agencies last September, Oregon residents could owe up to $ 378 million in rent in arrears statewide.

The state’s housing crisis took center stage in the Oregon Legislature this session. State lawmakers last week gave tenants until the end of February 2022 to catch up on rent payments under a bill currently on Brown’s desk.

A group of Oregon homeowners for follow-up Brown on the moratorium on state evictions in December. The trial is still pending in the United States District Court.

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About Teresa G. Wilson

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