New regulations could protect homeowners from unfair mortgage practices

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is now responsible for investigating cases of mortgage mistreatment and advocating on the behalf of homeowners. (Genevieve Grippo/KTVL)

Thanks to a new law that regulates mortgage loan servicing companies, 2018 could be a safer year for Oregon's homeowners.

Senate Bill 98 passed during the 2017 legislative session. It puts the Department of Consumer and Business Services in charge of overseeing those mortgage companies, requiring the companies to obtain a license through the division.

That means if a homeowner believes they are being treated unfairly by their mortgage servicer, they can report it to the DCBS.

Previously there was no real path for homeowners to take if they had such complaints. Now, the DCBS is responsible for investigating cases of mistreatment and advocating on the behalf of homeowners.

"Maybe your mortgage company is not filing your payment correctly and they have maybe miscalculated what you owe, or they think you missed a payment but you really didn't," said Brian Hilliard, a Public Information Officer with the DCBS.

The department says the main concern for many homeowners is how their payments are applied to their loans.

"You want to make sure that money is sent to the proper places," said Hilliard. "And this is an avenue that if you feel like you're having problems with that, we can help you through it now."

Hilliard says in the past, banks, credit unions and mortgage loan originators have all been regulated.

Those regulations protected borrowers at the beginning of the mortgage process, but if your loan was sold to a servicing company after the fact, there were no real regulations to advocate for consumers.

The new law will help protect them throughout the life of their loans.

If you need to contact the DCBS with a complaint about your mortgage company, call toll free at (866) 814-9710 or fill out a complaint on their website.

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