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  • Mortgage Assistance Available in Oregon

    It’s no secret to anyone that the United States has been facing a serious economic crisis for the last several years, which has negatively affected everything from overseas trade to local job loss and nationwide reductions in wages. Many families are literally struggling to meet their basic needs, and Oregon has been hit especially hard by the recession. Oregon homeowners who are facing foreclosure may qualify for assistance through a variety of different state and national programs, including the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Program (OHSI), Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), and The Foreclosure Avoidance Mediation Program, as well as several others.

    The Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Program (OHSI) was started in 2010, when the US Department of Treasury awarded Oregon $220 million as part of the “hardest hit” program, due to high unemployment rates state-wide. Several programs were designed based on feedback from various communities, to accommodate both rural and urban housing needs throughout the state, including:

    So far, more than $60 million in funds has been dispensed to over 4,500 homeowners in Oregon, from the programs offered through OHSI. All participants in OHSI sponsored programs must complete the Homeowner Education program. The Homeowner Education program is a series of online videos that reviews budgeting tips, credit repair, debt repayment strategies, savings planning, and other financial education topics. The video series is designed to help Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative program participants understand how to maximize their assistance.

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    The Foreclosure Avoidance Mediation Program, which started in July of 2012, is for homeowners who are at risk of default and would like to meet with their lender, and those who have already received a “Notice of Mediation” from their lender. The program requires participants to respond to any notices from their lender by the deadline specified in the notice, meet with a housing counselor, and pay a mediation fee of $200 (which may be waived to $50 if the participant’s income is less than 200% of the poverty level). Additional information regarding the program and access to application forms can be found at their website: www.ForeclosureMediationOR.org.

    The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is a program of the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that closely resembles the Loan Preservation Assistance program. In certain cases, it can be utilized in conjunction with the aforementioned programs. Designed for homeowners that are employed but still struggle to make their monthly mortgage payments, HAMP aims to lower these payments and make them more affordable and easier to sustain on a long-term basis. Homeowners who meet the following criteria may be eligible to participate in the program—

    Those who:


    The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) offers refinancing options to homeowners who are up-to-date on their payments, but unable to obtain refinancing through traditional means due to their home depreciating in value after purchase. HARP refinancing loans are an opportunity for eligible homeowners to receive stable, more affordable, new mortgages. Like other loans, an application and underwriting process are required, and refinancing fees do apply. Eligibility requirements include the following criteria:

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