Oregon Establishes Fund To Help Homeowners Pay Their Mortgages

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On November 19, 2020, the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) announced a $20 million fund called the Oregon Homeowner Stabilization Initiative (OHSI) to help homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments. Applications are being accepted at this website on a first-come, first-serve basis. OHCS expects to release funds about three to four months after the first applications are received.

To receive funds from the OHSI, eligible homeowners must meet several criteria. First, the homeowner must meet certain income limitations and must prove financial hardship due to job loss, reduced income, high medical costs, or other causes. While the COVID pandemic does not necessarily need to be the cause of the hardship, it is clear the initiative is aimed at homeowners who have suffered financially due to the pandemic. Second, the homeowner must have first become delinquent on their mortgage after January 1, 2020, the total unpaid principal cannot exceed $491,050 and the total amount past due cannot exceed $40,000. Also, the homeowner’s monthly homeownership costs (mortgage, taxes, insurance, HOA dues, etc.) cannot exceed 45% of their household’s monthly income. The home must be owner-occupied. The homeowner cannot be involved in an active bankruptcy case and cannot have been convicted of certain financial crimes within the last 10 years. A full description of eligibility requirements can be found here.

Homeowners will receive OHSI funds in the form of a five-year, interest-free forgivable loan. Twenty percent of the principal balance is forgiven each year provided that the home is not refinanced or sold for cash.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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