Help Avoiding Foreclosure

Senator Merkley understands that a home is most often the biggest investment that a family will make.  It provides a sense of place, financial security, and a stable environment for children.  Now, for many Americans, that foundation for success is in jeopardy.  

As a result of bad loans and rising unemployment, many families who played by the rules are now facing foreclosure.  On this page, you will find resources providing information about how to get help avoiding foreclosure, identifying foreclosure scams, and contacting your lender.

Recently, the Senate passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which included amendments by Senator Jeff Merkley that banned some of the most deceptive mortgage practices.  While this legislation will help protect homeowners from financial scams in the future, there’s still much more work to be done to help families who are currently in danger of losing their homes.

For more information or to express concerns regarding mortgages and other consumer issues, please contact Senator Merkley’s Portland office by phone at (503) 326-3386 or you can contact Senator Merkley's office via email.

Avoiding Foreclosure

The U.S. Department of Treasury recently announced that Oregon will receive nearly $50 million to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure.  This new funding is in addition to the first installment of $88 million dedicated to assisting Oregon homeowners modify existing mortgages, provide mortgage payment assistance and help unemployed Oregonians avoid foreclosure while they look for a new job.

For more information about how Oregon Housing and Community Services can help you if you’re facing foreclosure, go here.

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage or at risk of foreclosure, there is free, trustworthy help available.  You can call 1-888-995-HOPE free personalized advice from housing counseling agencies certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  This national hotline is operated by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage industry members and HUD-certified counseling agencies

For more information on free counseling services, visit

Looking Out for Foreclosure Scams

Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  If you’re trying to modify your mortgage, beware of scam artists offering to negotiate a “deal” to save your house if you pay a fee first.   Make sure you get promises in writing, make mortgage payments directly to your lender, and get professional financial advice before even considering signing over the deed to your home.

Find more information to identify foreclosure scams from the Federal Trade Commission.

Other Helpful Housing Links

Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative Oregon Housing and Community Services

Information on HOPE for Homeowners – Federal Housing Administration

Tips for avoiding foreclosure – Department of Housing and Urban Development

Who to call when your lender won’t work with you – Department of Housing and Urban Development

Approved foreclosure avoidance counseling agencies in Oregon – Department of Housing and Urban Development

Find out if you're eligible for homeowners assistance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program.