EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – Reshaping the foreclosure dialogue between customers and their banks, Oregon lawmakers are spreading the word about a new bill affording new rights to homeowners in hot water.
The bill, Senate Bill 1552, is being called major reform to benefit Oregonians amidst the foreclosure crisis. State legislators passed it in the final day of the legislature on Monday, March 5th, 2012, the first session since Oregon voters passed a law requiring lawmakers to meet every year.
The bill makes two major changes in state law. First, the bill requires banks to negotiate with borrowers and mediators in the foreclosure process.
Second, the bill bans the so-called “dual track” process many homeowners have faced. Legislators say while local bank branches have been relatively good about renegotiating home mortgages with homeowners facing financial issues, national bank offices have been another story.
Many national bank offices have been pursuing the foreclosure process, trying to get through it as fast as possible.
Representing West and North Eugene as well as Santa Clara and Junction City, state Senator Chris Edwards was a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 1252.
“It's just not fair to homeowners. We need to stabilize the housing market and this is one piece of that,” says Sen. Edwards.
Oregon lawmakers want to even the playing field now. Senator Edwards says the bill is about being fair in resolving mortgage issues.
“We have had some national banks that, going through foreclosure proceedings on constituents of mine, won't return phone calls and emails for constituents that want to work out a plan and we didn't think that was right, so this will really change the face of that situation,” says Sen. Edwards.
Senator Edwards along with seven other Lane County legislators will all be in Eugene on Wednesday to hold a town hall in efforts of educating homeowners about their new rights.
The town hall takes place Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, at Harris Hall, located at 125 East 8th Avenue in Eugene. The meeting is free and open to the public from 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m.
Representatives from the Oregon Attorney General's Office and the group “Economic Fairness Oregon” will also be on hand at the town hall meeting to answer questions and help educate homeowners.