Friday, February 7, 2014

Foreclosure process. Sale mediation.

If a mediation service provider sends you a notification about your right to have a meeting with your lender’s representative, act immediately. The first step: Meet with a certified Housing and Urban Development (HUD) nonprofit counselor within 30 days after receiving the mediation notification form. The notification of your right to a mediation meeting will include information for the Lawyer Referral Services of the Oregon State Bar and providers of low-cost legal services. The form will include a list of options to avoid foreclosure. Even if you are not currently in the foreclosure process, you can also request a mediation meeting with your lender, if you were 30 days late on your loan payment at least one-time and your financial situation will likely not improve. You can request a mediation meeting by using a form available from a mediation service provider approved by the Oregon Attorney General. 
You will also be notified about the documents you need to bring with you to the meeting. Consult an approved housing counselor because the counselor will be able to better prepare you for the mediation meeting, including the paperwork you need to bring with you and other conditions you will have to meet. One condition is to pay a fee (not to exceed $200) to the mediator at least 10 days before the meeting. If you are not able to meet with an approved housing counselor within 30 days, you can still request a mediation meeting, but you must submit an affidavit to the mediator stating the reason why you could not consult an approved housing counselor.
You do not have to agree to attend the mediation meeting if you choose not to. You can notify the mediator at the address or contact information provided in the mediator’s notice about your decision. Visit the Attorney General’s office website.
You have the right to reinstate your loan by bringing your loan current, in addition to paying the late fees and the expenses to foreclose, but you should do this no later than five days before the sale (auction date) of the house. If, after exhausting all your options, you were not able to reach an agreement with the lender to save your house and unless the lender decides to postpone the sale, the trustee will conduct a trustee’s sale at the place and time noted on the Trustee’s Notice of Sale. Oregon law allows a postponement of the sale for up to 180 days. The postponement will be announced at the time and place of the scheduled sale date and a written notification will be also be sent to the homeowner at least 15 days before the new sale date, unless the first postponement is for less than two days from the sale date. Oregon law requires trustees to provide homeowners additional notifications. One is the “NOTICE: YOU ARE IN DANGER OF LOSING YOUR PROPERTY IF YOU DO NOT TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY.” Trustees must provide this notification to the homeowner at the same time or before the required notification that the house is in pre-foreclosure to promptly and clearly notify homeowners who occupy the property as their primary residence about the risk of losing their homes and, if possible, what the homeowners could do to try to save their homes. The notification also must include a toll-free number where homeowners can call to get information about approved nonprofit providers of foreclosure prevention counseling programs in different areas of the state. The notice also includes contact information for the Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service if you decide to hire a lawyer. Low-income homeowners can also ask for legal assistance. If you receive such notification, we strongly recommend calling the toll-free number provided and seek help from an approved counselor or legal assistance in your area. Approved nonprofit counselors are trained to facilitate the interaction with lenders and, in many cases, increase the possibility in obtaining the best possible solution. Their services are often free of charge or have a small nominal fee for credit reports.

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