Brown Extends Foreclosure Moratorium One Last Time

Governor Kate Brown announced today that she has extended Oregon’s residential mortgage foreclosure moratorium until December 31, 2021. This moratorium prevents Oregonians who own their homes from losing their homes to foreclosure if they have lost income and been unable to pay their mortgage during the COVID-19 pandemic. House Bill 2009 authorized the governor to extend the mortgage foreclosure moratorium period for two successive three-month periods beyond June 30. The Governor previously issued Executive Order 21-14, extending the moratorium until September 30, 2021. The extension until December 31 is the last extension allowed under House Bill 2009.

“As we continue to see record high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations driven by the Delta surge, I am committed to ensuring that Oregonians have a warm, dry, safe place to live during this pandemic,” said Governor Brown. “Extending the temporary residential foreclosure moratorium another three months will prevent removal of Oregonians from their homes by foreclosure, which would result in serious health, safety, welfare, and financial consequences, and which would undermine key efforts to prevent spread of COVID-19.”

Extending House Bill 2009’s foreclosure moratorium will also provide relief to mortgagors that are leasing property to residential tenants, allowing landlords needed flexibility to continue to work with tenants who are struggling to pay rent. These protections are necessary as Oregon continues to deploy federal financial relief both for Oregonians who rent and for Oregonians who own their homes, including the Emergency Rental Assistance program and the Homeownership Assistance Fund, both of which are in the initial stages of deployment.

Oregonians who have fallen behind on their mortgages during the pandemic are encouraged to contact a housing counselor in their community. Housing counselors are knowledgeable, dedicated professionals who can help homeowners explore their best options for keeping their homes. A list of housing counselors in communities across Oregon is available here.

Rental assistance, safe-harbor period available for tenants

Similar protections are also in place for Oregonians who rent their homes. In addition to resources for landlords and homeowners, rental assistance continues to be available for tenants at OregonRentalAssistance.org. On June 25, 2021, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 278, which provides tenants a 60-day safe-harbor period from eviction for nonpayment of rent. In Multnomah County, the safe harbor period is 90 days. The 60-day safe-harbor period for each tenant begins when they provide their landlords with proof that they have applied for rental assistance. Oregon’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is still accepting applications at OregonRentalAssistance.org. Tenants who are behind on their rent or utilities or who may need help paying current or future month’s rent should apply today. The program is offered to all eligible renters regardless of immigration status.

If a tenant has received an eviction proceeding notice, they should consult with a lawyer as quickly as possible. No cost or low-cost legal services may be available. For more information on the end of Oregon’s eviction moratorium and protections for Oregon’s renters, go to OregonLawHelp.org. Renters can also contact 2-1-1 or 211info.org to be linked to their local program administrator.