Foreclosure Prevention Resources
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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I try to avoid foreclosure?

Though it may seem easier to just walk away from your home and let the bank take it, foreclosure is a no-win solution for everyone involved.

  • Foreclosure will damage your credit score. This means that credit card companies will likely charge you higher interest rates, you'll have difficulty getting loans in the future, and you'll have to pay more for insurance.
  • Foreclosed homes damage the quality of neighborhoods and your community, leading to unkempt homes, lower real estate values for remaining homeowners, and run-down neighborhoods.

The State of Oregon offers many foreclosure resources and free counseling to help you understand all your options. To find a foreclosure prevention counselor near you, click here.

How can counseling help me?

The foreclosure process can be complicated, confusing and overwhelming. Foreclosure prevention counseling can help you get the information you need from a certified, trustworthy source. A counselor won't tell you what to do, but he or she will help you understand your options, so you can decide how to proceed. The service is free, and it's available at State-approved agencies throughout Oregon. To find a foreclosure prevention counselor near you, click here.

What is Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance Program?

The Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance (OFA) Program is a mandatory, statewide foreclosure mediation program. Before most lenders can begin foreclosure of a residential trust deed, they must request a face-to-face meeting with the homeowner through OFA. The process is simple. The homeowner pays a fee, meets with a housing counselor, submits documents, and shows up at the meeting. The lender must produce information about the loan and send a representative with complete authority to negotiate and commit to a foreclosure alternative.

Learn more about the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance Program: here.

What is a Resolution Conference?

Oregon law now requires most lenders to request a resolution conference with a homeowner before starting a foreclosure. A resolution conference is an informal meeting with your lender conducted by a neutral person called a "facilitator" who is trained in mediation and basic foreclosure issues. Your lender must send a representative with complete authority to negotiate and commit to a foreclosure avoidance measure. If you are behind on your mortgage or current but experiencing a financial hardship, you may be able to request a resolution conference without waiting for your lender to act. To learn more about resolution conferences click here.

What is Cash For Keys?

If you must surrender your home due to foreclosure, but leave it in good condition, your lender may offer you a lump sum of money. Commonly called "Cash For Keys," the amount varies from lender to lender, but typically ranges from $1,000 to $1,500. You should only consider Cash For Keys if you have exhausted all other options and determined that you will not be able to keep your home.

What is a Deed In Lieu?

If you are not able to keep your home, you may be able to voluntarily transfer the property to the lender to avoid foreclosure. The agreement is called a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

What is forbearance?

If you are suffering a temporary hardship, a lender may agree not to foreclose and to accept reduced or no payments for a period of time. After the forbearance period, you will enter into a repayment plan or a loan modification to catch up on the missed payments.

What is loan modification?

A loan modification permanently changes the original terms of a mortgage. Most loan modifications reduce monthly payments, making the mortgage more affordable for the homeowner and enabling them to stay in the home . A loan modification may reduce your interest rate, spread your payments out over a longer period of time, and even reduce the amount you owe.

What is reinstatement?

You have the right to reinstate or bring your loan current up to five days before a nonjudicial foreclosure sale by paying only the past due amounts, including any fees or charges your lender assessed. You also may have a contractual right to reinstate your loan before judgment is entered in a judicial foreclosure.

What is a short sale?

If you owe more than your home is worth and cannot afford to keep it, your lender may agree to let you to sell the house for less than what you owe. The lender may or may not forgive the remaining balance of your loan.

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