Dear Representative Wingard,
As you know the housing market and hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are in financial trouble and losing their homes. The reason for this email is that I have been working with lenders over the last several years that continue to be denied home loan modifications at an unacceptable (at least 75% are being denied) rate here in Portland. Many of the homeowners have lost their job, had a serious illnesses or some other financial hardship. These homeowners are not only being kicked while they are down but then again when they later try to re-establish themselves because of aggressive collection tactics by lenders who either foreclosed on the home or accepted a short sale with the "option of recourse" in the short sale approval letter sent to them. It's been my experience that this is leaving them with the very real possibility of having to file for bankruptcy as their only alternative to a truly fresh start.
My hope is that you can design and introduce a law here in Oregon that would require these lenders that are charging off this debt and sell it to investors of debt and/or collection agencies to 1st offer the debtor the same terms to which they have agreed to sell it to a 3rd party. If you were to talk to us Realtors who are trying to help homeowners by either directing them to State and Federal Websites for possible home loan modification programs that they might qualify or later also assisting them to short sell their home and avoid a foreclosure on their credit record, you would see that we and your constituents are continually hitting illogical road blocks from the lenders. These same lenders may be approving short sales at a larger rate than before but are retaining their rights to go after homeowners for the "deficiency" and then selling that bad debt so that Oregonians who have been caught in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression can have their nightmare continue for years to come.
My suggestion is both fair and right, given these unprecedented times. Create a law where a lender who is making a seller sign a legal document in order for them to release the lien and close on their home has the right to later buy back their deficiency from the lender at the same terms they are negotiating with institutions, law firms and collection agencies. I see no reason that someone who has already lost their job, lost their home and lost their credit should not be able to pay the same price, sometimes pennies on the dollar, that they are willing to wholesale it out the door to and industry who will haunt them for years to come in order to collect and make a profit off such a terrible situation we are all feeling right now.
Thank you for your time,
John Bacon, Keller Williams Realty Portland Preimere
RESPONSE FROM MY STATE REPRESTATIVE:
Not a bad idea. I will have the bill drawn up. Let's see what happens.
Rep. Matt Wingard
Please send letters to your Representatives and let's see if we can't keep people who have lost everything from being abused for a lifetime!