Oregon House passes foreclosure protection bill addressing mediation, dual track

Oregon lawmakers reached a last-minute deal Monday on protections for homeowners facing foreclosure, passing legislation that will require lenders to meet face to face with borrowers before initiating foreclosure.

The House approved Senate Bill 1552 by a 59-1 vote late Monday as the Legislature approached adjournment. It will require lenders to meet with borrowers in mediation if the borrower requests it, and it will end the “dual track” practice of foreclosing while negotiating a loan modification.

The bill passed in the Senate a short time later. Approval there wasn’t in doubt because the Senate had passed two bills addressing mediation and the dual track system last month.

The mediation requirement gives homeowners the chance to plead their case with their lender and a third party face to face.

“That’s going to make a world of difference for a lot of homeowners,” said House Democratic Leader Tina Kotek of Portland. “Some might still get foreclosed upon, but they will at least get to sit down and talk with their lender.”

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