State to Suspend Accepting New Applications for Oregon Homeowners Relief Fund Program

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — Oregon Housing and Community Services announced that it will suspend accepting new applications for Oregon’s Homeowners Relief Fund program at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 30.

Officials said the pause will allow OHCS to process current requests in its pipeline, allow for minor system maintenance and better project the amount of federal HAF funds remaining for homeowners.

“Since the HAF program’s first payout in January 2022, the program has served the most at-risk homeowners, keeping families in their homes,” said Ryan Vanden Brink, assistant director of homeowner assistance programs.. “The HAF team couldn’t do this work without Oregon’s housing counseling agencies, who stand ready to provide advice and advocate for struggling homeowners across the state. If you’re a homeowner in delay, do not delay, contact a state-licensed homeowner center right away.”

Anyone eligible to apply for Phases 1, 2, or 3 of the OHCS’s phased-opening program is encouraged to apply for HAF assistance by 11 a.m. PST on November 30. Owners can learn more about eligibility for each of these phases and apply online. at oregonhomeownerassistance.org.

If someone has already applied or started an application, the pause will not impact them. Those who have started their applications will still be able to access and complete them, and applications that have been submitted previously will still be processed. Applicants can continue to log into the HAF Portal to complete their application or check the status of their completed application. They can choose to receive email alerts as their application progresses.

To serve the most at-risk landlords, as an exception to this pause, OHCS will continue to accept new applications submitted by Housing Counselors on behalf of landlords who are the subject of a legal action or whose foreclosure sale date is verified. If you are the subject of a court action or non-court foreclosure and can provide documentation of a pending foreclosure sale date, please apply before the break or work with a free housing counselor to submit your request.

OHCS has intended its HAF program to operate as a safety net for eligible most-at-risk owners who do not have a viable training option, and it will continue to operate HAF that way during the hiatus. During a very limited pilot program, HAF received approximately 180 applications. Since Phase 3 opened in June 2022, an additional 1,700 HAF requests have been initiated by homeowners in Oregon.

Free help is available

During this break, homeowners who have fallen behind or are at risk of missing a payment on their mortgage can continue to get free help from certified housing counselors statewide to learn more about budgeting tools and evaluating options to keep their home, such as modifications. , adding deferred payments at the end of a mortgage, or HAF. The HAF may not be the best option for everyone, and it may prevent homeowners from using the service options available for different types of loans. Housing counselors are knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated professionals who can help homeowners communicate with their mortgage services.

Search in full list of free certified housing counselors by county. Landlords should be aware that some housing counseling agencies take longer to respond due to holidays and remote work policies.

In addition to connecting with a certified housing counselor, Oregon homeowners should contact their mortgage services and lenders directly to see what types of mortgage relief and foreclosure prevention programs are available. Homeowners who contact their lenders and servicers have additional protections and generally have more time to determine their options.

Avoid fraud

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services recommends being extremely cautious with offers of help from unauthorized businesses or individuals. Owners are asked not to provide financial or personal information unless they verify the licensing status of the business or individual. It costs nothing to apply for the HAF program or meet with an Oregon housing counselor.

There are a number of commonalities traffic signs owners should be careful as this may indicate a scam. If an owner suspects they have been contacted by a scammer, they can report it to Consumer Financial Protection Bureauthe Oregon Department of Justiceor the Office of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General.

To check a lender’s license, visit the Financial Regulation Division license page and compare it with the National Multi-State Licensing System (NMLS) license number. This number must appear on all advertising materials and must be easy to find. To verify a housing counseling agency’s status with the state, make sure it is listed on the OHCS website.

Press release in Spanish

Ryan H. Bowman