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New year brings new mortgage protections for Oregonians

Companies must now obtain a license

SALEM, Ore. - The Department of Consumer and Business Services said Wednesday it now has the authority to regulate mortgage loan servicing companies.

Senate Bill 98, passed during the 2017 legislative session, places mortgage companies that service Oregon home loans under the licensing and enforcement authority of the department's Division of Financial Regulation. Mortgage loan servicing companies must now obtain a license from the division.

"This new law enables us to protect and advocate for Oregonians throughout the life of their mortgage," said Cameron Smith, DCBS acting director. "Homeowners now have an avenue to report any unfair actions of the mortgage companies that service their home loans."

The new law comes on the heels of the state issuing a conditional license to one of the nation's largest mortgage servicing companies, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC. The conditional license is the result of a multi-state investigation into Ocwen's management of its escrow accounts.

As a condition of the multi-state investigation, Ocwen hired a third-party auditor to review the management of its escrow accounts and will provide restitution to customers that were harmed by the company's failure to handle mortgage payments. Ocwen is also restricted from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights for any home loans until April 30.

The Ocwen investigation took place before the new law, but the agency said it shows how the state can help residents with more of their mortgage concerns.

The department's Division of Financial Regulation has several home buying and home ownership resources available online at http://dfr.oregon.gov/gethelp/foreclosure/Pages/index.aspx. If you experience problems with your mortgage company, call the division at 866-814-9710 (toll-free) to speak with an advocate.

To view the final order, go to http://dfr.oregon.gov/AdminOrders/enf-orders-2017/Final%20Consent%20Order.pdf


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