Foreclosure & Alternatives Law
Perhaps you have just missed a payment on your home in Oregon, and you're wondering what it takes for a foreclosure to begin. Perhaps you've missed multiple payments and you're sure that the lender is going to try to take your home back soon. Either way, you need to know about the laws, regulations, and your own rights in the state. This way, you can either defend yourself from the foreclosure or seek the best possible outcome if you must lose your home.
Now, if you have only missed one payment, it's important to note that a single miss will not usually start the foreclosure process. The rule of thumb is that lenders wait for 90 days before starting the lawsuit or sending you notices, allowing them to see that this lack of payment is a trend. However, all situations are different, as all mortgage agreements can be written up differently. Be sure that you understand what your agreement says and how your lender operates.
After the lender determines that a foreclosure is needed, they have to send you two notices: A notice of sale and a danger notice, which tells you that the foreclosure is looming. These at least have to be served on the same day, but the danger notice may be used first. At the very least, the notice of sale has to be recorded and then provided 120 days prior to the sale of the home. You will either get the notices in the mail or they will be served to you in person.
If you now have the money to pay the missed payments, to catch up on the loan, and to pay off the fees and other costs that have been added to your account, you can reinstate the loan. The lender has to offer you, by law, the option to do this until five days prior to the auction or sale of the house. Additionally, lenders are only allowed to charge you so much in fines and costs, with limits established by law.
In Oregon, it is illegal for a lender to foreclose on the home of a member of the armed forces who is on active duty, fighting in a war. The lender must wait until the service member returns home to deal with the lawsuit. This is a precedent that is set up by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Though it is a federal act, these protections are offered by Oregon state laws, as well.
The new owner of the house will not take possession of it until ten days have gone by after the sale. This is to allow you time to move out of the home. If those ten days pass and you are still in the home, though, the new owner can pursue an eviction. No notice has to be given for this eviction.
Finally, it is worth looking into the bankruptcy regulations. For one thing, you should know what cash is exempt. Oregon law allows for $400 for a single homeowner, which is doubled to $800 for couples who are married. Also, a single homeowner can take as exempt as much as $7,500 from his or her wages that has been put into a bank account; this is also doubled to $15,000 for couples who are married.
The bankruptcy lawsuit itself can also be useful if you need more time. Once it has started, the courts will deal with it and allow the foreclosure to be put on hold by issuing a stay. At the conclusion of the bankruptcy case, you still owe the mortgage if you want to keep the house, but the time and financial reorganizing can help you to reinstate the loan.