Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Foreclosure Forum Notes

Organizational Reps at Foreclosure Meeting
Held last night at St Johns Community Center, Co-Hosted by Oregon State Rep Nina Kotek and US Congressional Rep Earl Blumenauer.  

Reps from several non profits, DCBS and OHCS also in attendance. (Pic is of Hacienda, DCBS, Our Oregon, and OHCS reps).

I estimate attendance at around 75 for this two hour meeting, pretty good for a rainy Tuesday evening. My notes:
  • OHCS rep said Hardest Hit program operational in December.
  • Hacienda rep indicated that they have a regular Wednesday meeting on Foreclosure Prevention. (No class this week, according to website).
  • Kotek indicated that she was aware of Hardest Hit allocation issues and concerns from Deschutes and Jackson county about HH allocations.
  • Blumenauer stayed for only first half hour because of sick child, indicated he though possible future bankruptcy reform could help apply pressure to banks to be more responsive on loan modifications. 
  • Counseling agencies stressed importance of...counseling. 
  • As is likely case in most public meetings today, there were a few attendees who wanted to vent about TARP etc, and appeared to me that with several using hand held video, there may have an effort by some to play "gotcha". Despite repeated interruptions, Kotek kept the meeting civil and on track.
  • My guess is about 25 attendees indicated personal experience in dealing with loan modifications. These attendees have specific stories about difficulties in working with loan servicers on loan modifications, with files lost, long delays, and inconsistent answers. Legal Aid and other reps response was to stress importance of documentation of contacts including names and dates/Kotek indicated willingness to look at any state legislation that might better help regulate servicers who clearly are part of the problem with HAMP program. 
  • DCBS rep reminded attendees of new requirement to fully document income etc BEFORE family will be offered a trial modification under HAMP. (Prior practice of accepting into trial mod before full documentation may have contributed to high drop out rates from loan mod trials). 
  • Pretty clear that NO one knew about volume of HAMP loan mods that HAVE occurred in Oregon or nationally (my most recent related post HERE) , and I heard only one person who MAY have received a permanent loan modification under HAMP. 
  • Audience was given HAMP Admin website HERE as source of lender rules for HAMP program.  While this site is an authoritative source, material is so dense and lengthy that most consumers likely will feel lost (like I often feel when looking at HAMP guidance).
  • Our Oregon has new "Oregon Hoodwinked" website HERE on Oregon foreclosures.
I encourage other attendees to add comments to this post on items I may have missed. 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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