Frequently Asked Questions
This section will be updated periodically with questions often asked by homeowners.
A certified housing counselor can help answer questions and offer guidance for your individual situation. Housing counselors can be found at homeownership centers throughout the state.
Your mortgage lender is the financial institution that loaned you the money.
Your mortgage servicer is the company that sends you your mortgage statements. Your servicer also handles the day-to-day tasks for managing your loan.
Your mortgage servicer typically processes your loan payments, responds to borrower inquiries, keeps track of principal and interest paid, manages your escrow account (if you have one). The loan servicer may initiate foreclosure under certain circumstances. Your servicer may or may not be the same company that originally gave you your loan.
We would recommend that you consider filing a complaint with the Division of Financial Regulation so that we can look into the matters of your concern. To file a complaint online, click here and select “financial services industry.”
A consumer can access this information through the Division of Financial Regulation website at www.dfr.oregon.gov, which will link you to the Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System (NMLS). The system provides an option for inputting the name of a person or company to determine if they are licensed/registered.
Additionally, consumers are welcome to contact Division of Financial Regulation if they have questions about license/registration status at 503-378-4170 or 888-877-4894.
An escrow account is for the payment of property taxes, homeowners/hazard insurance, and/or flood insurance. So it is possible that an increase in the property taxes or insurance has increased.
The explanation may become complicated, therefore, if your servicer has been unable to provide you with a satisfactory answer, we would recommend that you consider filing a complaint with the Division of Financial Regulation so that we can look into the matters of your concern. To file a complaint online, click here and select “financial services industry.”
The U.S. Department of the Treasury allocated $90 million to Oregon under the American Rescue Plan Act’s Homeowner Assistance Fund. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) will prevent foreclosures and displacements by providing financial assistance to homeowners at risk of losing their homes due to delinquencies and defaults. Eligible homeowners must meet income requirements and must have experienced financial hardship after January 21, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Homeowners may have also experienced hardship on or before that date, so long as they experienced a coronavirus pandemic-related hardship after that date. Other program requirements also apply. To find out if you are eligible for the program, please view the Eligibility & Timeline page.
Oregon Housing and Community Services will open the Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund in phases and will prioritize applications of homeowners who are most at risk of foreclosure. For complete information about phases, see the Eligibility & Timeline page.
Only those applications submitted during the correct phase will be reviewed and prioritized based on need using U.S. Treasury guidance. It is not first-come, first-serve. Everyone who applies will have their application reviewed, and not everyone will receive assistance. For more information about how applications are prioritized, see the Prioritization Information page.
The program will open in phases, first focusing on homeowners who are most at risk of foreclosure or displacement. Homeowners may only apply during the phase in which they become eligible or any phase after that. For more details about phases and steps to apply, see the Timeline & Eligibility and How to Apply pages.
If you are at risk of foreclosure and would like to receive personalized housing counseling about your situation, or you would like application assistance with the Homeowner Assistance Fund Program, please contact a homeownership center.
For more information, visit www.oregonhomeownerassistance.org.
In 2012, the Oregon Legislature passed a law requiring lenders to meet face-to-face with homeowners at the start of the nonjudicial foreclosure process. In 2013, the Legislature expanded the program so that most homeowners will have an opportunity to meet with their lenders before any foreclosure begins.
If you follow the four simple steps, you will get:
- Free advice and assistance from a housing counselor.
- The ability to submit documents to your lender through a secure online portal.
- Information about your loan, including an itemized statement of what you owe, a payment history, and the name of the entity that owns your loan.
- A face-to-face meeting with a representative of your lender who has complete authority to negotiate and commit to a foreclosure avoidance measure.
- A chance to avoid foreclosure before the lender begins that process. Even if you are not able to save your home, you will be able to talk to your lender about deeding the home back, selling the property for less than you owe, or moving out voluntarily in exchange for a small payment to help you relocate.
Call Mediation Case Manager (MCM) at 855-658-6733 for help at any time. MCM manages the program for Oregon and can help you with setting up your online account, scheduling, payments, submitting documents, using the online portal, and more. Information is also available on the program website at www.foreclosuremediationor.org.
Call a housing counselor as soon as possible to begin planning for the resolution conference. The housing counselor will advise you about options to avoid foreclosure, help assemble the best possible proposal for your lender, and prepare you for the meeting. If you want help negotiating with your lender, a housing counselor will attend the resolution conference with you. There is no cost to you for working with a housing counselor. See the Foreclosure Resources page for a list of approved housing counseling agencies in Oregon.
For more information about the Foreclosure Avoidance Program, visit www.foreclosuremediationor.org.