Legal Consultation For Under Water Property Owners

If you are late on your mortgage payments, considering a short sale, or facing foreclosure, you need to know your options.

Knowledge of current real estate laws and trends in the banking industry are paramount to making an informed and economically viable decision and to prevent impacts to your financial stability for years to come.

I’ve counseled hundreds of Portland-area home owners about their options, as well as the risks and benefits of each, so they can make the best possible decision for themselves and their families.  I keep current on industry trends and can tell you how banks are currently handling cases like yours.

One-Time Flat Fee For “Under Water” Homeowners

If you are behind on your mortgage payments or wondering what to do about your “upside down” situation, I offer a flat fee 60 to 90 minute consultation to answer all of your questions, bring you up to date on Oregon real estate law, and help you decide how to proceed.  The fee includes any needed follow up questions at no additional charge. Call 503-972-0400 to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

For Oregon property owners who owe more on their home than it is worth, many questions arise, such as:

How long does the foreclosure process take? 

It is impossible to predict.  Not only are there are two kinds of foreclosure in Oregon, nonjudicial foreclosure and judicial foreclosure, each with its own process and timeline, but the foreclosing lenders are not particularly efficient and each has its own policy regarding foreclosures and their timing.  It also depends on whether the property is a single family residence or a condominium or townhouse with monthly homeowner’s association fees (which can dissuade lenders from foreclosing promptly).

If I am foreclosed on, can the banks still come after me for what I owe? 

It depends on factors such as where you were living when you first defaulted on the mortgage in question, how many loans you have, when you took out the loans and who funded them.  If you have more than one mortgage, I will ask you to bring your loan documents to the consultation.  You should not rely on anyone but an attorney to advise you about your risk of having to pay any difference between what the lenders are owed and what they receive in a foreclosure sale.

How should I proceed if I have a first and a second mortgage? 

Make an appointment with an attorney to review your loan documents and assess your risk.   Google lawyering is fun but foreclosure law is state by state so only an attorney licensed in your state can advise you of your risk.

What are my options for settlement with the banks?

If you owe a lender an amount of money that will not be forgiven in a short sale or foreclosure, most lenders will accept a percentage payment in lieu of the full amount.  In part, how much they will accept depends on whether you have a hardship and/or how much time has passed without a payment.  I have seen as little as 10 percent and a fairly common number is 25%.

Do banks treat primary residences and investment properties differently? 

The trend is moving more toward no.  It used to be that investment property owners could not negotiate a loan modification or a settlement but that is now changing.  Foreclosure, however, penalizes the investment owner.

Schedule Consultation

Please call my office at 503-972-0400 to schedule your consultation.


Thank you Kate. You did us such a great service by helping us understand

and weigh out the options.  I really appreciate it more than you know.

Carisa Smith