As foreclosure issues continues to creep into every neighborhood in America, state governments are becoming more vigilant about developing a game plan to better protect struggling homeowners. Nearly 19,000 Oregon homeowners received a foreclosure notice in October. However, this year’s efforts by Oregon’s legislature proved fruitless and two bills failed to reach the floor in the 2011 session. Now Oregon state officials are pushing to ensure the 2012 session produces a better outcome.
New Year’s Resolution
Set to meet shortly after the start of the New Year, Oregon’s legislature will review the two failed bills and listen to new ideas about plans to combat the foreclosure crisis. There are currently three main plans of action that will be considered in the 2012 session.
First, the legislature is hoping to instill a mandatory meeting between lenders and homeowners in the presence of a third party, which will become a routine procedure for all pre-foreclosure mediation. The idea is to ensure that lenders are doing their part in communicating with homeowners and to create a sense of shared liability over developing any foreclosure alternative plans.
Second, mortgage lending standards will be reviewed and revamped to better ensure consumer protection. This action includes items such as consumer education through full disclosure and a review of mortgage relief options. Until now such regulations have been in place, but holding lenders accountable for acting on them has been difficult.
Last, enforcement of the Unlawful Trade Practices Act and increased regulation of lending industry violations would be improved. Lenders that engage in misconduct, misrepresentation or other false claims would face serious consequences.