The COVID-19 crisis has turned our lifestyle upside down. In Oregon, small and mom and pop landlords are struggling to survive and keep their properties. The landlords with non-federally backed home loans are the victims of the eviction moratorium imposed by the local and federal authorities. The regulations do not contemplate provisions to help non-federally protected homeowners from lenders.
It is all as if the rules to protect tenants are powerful lion jaws that stifle the landlord’s ability to generate income. It appears that the local and federal governments have left individual landlords at the mercy of their lenders.
“It was an awful experience. I felt as if I was a prey enclosed with a hungry predator,” Mr. Robertson told us when he contacted us looking for help.
A desperate cry!
Mr. John Robertson is a dedicated family man who works hard to build a patrimony for his children. He is a Portland 2 unit duplex landlord with a non-federally backed mortgage loan.
In April, one of his tenants notified him that he was unable to pay the rent because he had lost his job. In May, the other three tenants gave him the same notification. They insisted that they knew about the non-eviction law signed by Governor Brown recently.
John acquired his rental units nine years ago. He was current on his mortgage payments until June 2020.
For the fact of not receiving money from his renters, he found himself in a critical situation. John contacted his lender looking for a temporary payment suspension. A lender officer responded to his phone call saying not to worry because everything was under control, and promised him to send an explanatory email about the 6 months forbearance plan they have, plus an attachment containing the forms to be signed.
Weeks went by, and John received nothing, nor emails, nor a phone call from his bank. So,
He went to visit his lender personally. At the bank, he was told no one from that branch had spoken to him. They had no records of any phone conference to discuss his mortgage matter.
Because Mr. Robertson failed to pay his loan in June, the bank was unable to agree on a suspension mortgage plan. The lender claimed that the loan wasn’t current, which was a requirement before applying for a forbearance plan. They suggested John pay the defaulted month plus penalty and interests, and then, they would be more than happy to listen to his requests.
Frustrate, he exposed his current situation and his tenant’s situation as well, but none of his arguments found an echo in the bank officer’s ears.
In his searching for help, Mr. Robertson contacted the Oregon, Portland authorities, and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau as well, but he didn’t receive any help from them.
In early September, he received a “Notice of Default” from his lender. John making a deep analysis of his money situation, spoke to his tenants in a friendly way to have a better understanding of the whole picture. They told him that their job and money situation remained the same. For food, they were going once a week to the local church distribution center because they had no money to buy groceries in the supermarket.
On September 4th, Mr. John Robertson called to Better Off Home Buyers. The very same day we were visiting the duplexes and presented him with a writing offer. On Saturday the 5th, he responded to us accepting our proposal to buy the units.
Yesterday, the day before we wrote this post, we gave John a check purchasing his rental-property.
It is so sad that people are suffering from the abuse of unscrupulous lenders. We are supposed to help each other, especially now, when tragedy hits hard our communities. The John Robertson story is just one of many happening right now in our country. Predictions say close to 3 million homeowners without federal protection mortgage loans will be facing foreclosure in the first quarter of 2021.
A Brave Single Mom.
Samantha Clark is a single mom of two, at one point, she was working in three different jobs to provide for her children. In 2013, Samantha got a home loan from a Portland small lender to purchase a 3 bedroom house. Later, a couple of times, she was notified about changes in her home loan servicer.
Her situation changed dramatically in May 2020. She was furloughed on two jobs, and permanently off form the third one because of the COVID-19 epidemic, and the violent protests demonstrations the city of Portland experienced since the death of George Floyd.
Her main job in a well-known bakery in the city ended for good when the place was looted and burned down for angry protesters. Due to her lack of income, she was unable to continue making the mortgage payments. When Samantha asked her lender for help in temporarily suspending payments, the lender told her that the home loan she had was not federal-backed. So, it is not qualified for a forbearance plan.
She was told the only way to solve the missed payments situation was to get her home loan current.
Samantha says she was fighting her mind to stay home until a foreclosure judgment would kick her out, or be proactive and look for a different option like selling the house.
In the end, she decided to sell her property, she spent August navigating the internet and contacting home buyer companies in the Portland and Oregon areas. But no one was in a good mood to help her.
“Some home buyers were trying to take advantage of my situation, they offered to pay me an amount way under my home value,” Samantha said.
She contacted us, filling out the information form on our website. We were talking over the phone about her needs. Then, we set an appointment to visit her house. Right there we had the opportunity to know her and her children. Honestly, we feel happy about helping such a nice young family.
During the last week of August, we conducted Samantha’s home inspection. On the same day, we were able to present her with a writing offer. Two days later Samantha called us back saying she was ready to proceed with the sell-buying home transaction.
Samantha and her kids had no place to go yet, they were waiting for an okay on moving temporarily to her friend’s house in Hillsboro, She has plans to get into the bakery business herself once they get established there.
The day we paid for her property, we told her that if she needs to stay living in the house for a couple of months, we had no problems with that. So she and her kids had more time to look for a place to live, schools, and everything she may need to start with the bakery business, she’s dreamed of for a long time.
Senior Citizens Landlords.
Pedro and Amalia Cortez are a Latino immigrant couple established in Portland for thirty-five years.
They rose and educated two boys and one girl. Working hard, first in the crop fields, and then in the city as a Janitor, dishwasher, and a cook, Pedro was able to provide for the family, while Amalia was a part-time maid in the mornings and a stay home mom in the afternoons.
About twenty-five years ago, the family moved to their own four-bedroom house in a beautiful Portland neighborhood.
“Our kids were so happy, they enjoyed the house and had a lot of friends,” Amalia said with a shining smile.
About 10 years ago, a family friend tempted Pedro to become a landlord. He told Pedro and Amalia how successful he was with rented properties. An easy job to start before retirement time comes up.
Taking on account the substantial equity Cortez’s house had. The couple and the three ground up kids decided to give a try to the landlord business.
Following the family friend’s advice, they requested a loan backed by their equity home. Then, with the advisory of a real estate agent, they purchased a two-story three-bedroom house.
They put a big down payment and after signing the documentation, the house was placed for rent. The new landlord business was marching on wheels, the rental-income was good enough to pay the mortgage and bills, while the second home loan on the first property was paid with Pedro’s income. Earley in 2020, the Cortez family was considering acquiring another rental property when the novel COVID-19 hit us.
Their tenants were one of the first people affected by the social distancing and the CDC regulations. The renter was a gym general manager at the metro area.
The tenant told Pedro that even though he applied for unemployment benefits, he was unable to pay rent. Pedro responded that in that case, he must vacate the premises.
The conversation between the landlord and the tenant turned ugly, and they cursed each other. Later that day, Pedro received a phone call from the Portland Tenants United organization.
The voice on the other side of the phone explained Pedro, the rights and the tenant’s protection rules issued by the state and the federal government, and remarked the law obligations as a landlord he had. Pedro inquired this person about the rights and protection he, as a landlord had. But the voice said that those were problems the organization doesn’t deal with and hung up the phone.
For a couple of months, Pedro covered his house-rental mortgage payments using his savings. Starting June, he was notified by his boss that the restaurant where he was a chef for a long time, was closing permanently.
Taking on account the new situation, the family decided to sell the rental property. The kids were trying to hire a real estate agent, but they were rejected because of the real estate market conditions. Also, because the property mortgage was in default and on top of that, the house was a “bad tenant-occupied,” the real estate agents told Pedro and his family.
Finally, they found our website and called us to get more information about our services.
Over zoom conferences, we explained to them how Better Off Home Buyers would help them.
- We talked about our home buying process.
- We visit our client’s house to inspect it.
- During the first 24 hours after the house inspection, we present the client with a writing offer.
- Once our client approves our proposal, we start working on the documentation and all aspects related to the house purchase.
- Typically, closing is in 7 days, some cases are different and may take a little longer, other cases take just 2 days.
- On the closing day, the client receives a check for the value of his property.
The CARES act and other Oregon and Federal regulations have the intention to help homeowners and tenants that have been affected by the COVID-19 hardship.
However, the regulations don’t help everyone in the same measure. Homeowners with conventional Mortgage loans were left out of the equation. The non-federally backed mortgage loans do not qualify for forbearance, deferral payment plans, or any benefit appointed by the CARES act. Homeowners in crisis, without federal protection, are at their lender’s mercy.
There are more than 4 million non-federally backed home loans across the nation having no other fate than the one shown by lenders. In our financial system, banks and lenders are free to impose rules and conditions.
Unemployment reached record numbers in history, although it has recovered a little bit, It managed to cause damages to homeowners and small landlords as well, putting them at risk of foreclosure in the near future.
Forbearance plans, deferral payments, and slump payments are temporary options for Homeowners during this crisis. But health, unemployment, and slow economic recovery are big problems for them. In fact, without a steady income, none plan will save the homeowners from foreclosure.
Information from the governments’ authorities tells us that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by the second half of 2021. Sometimes the same information states that a full virus eradication will be effective until 2022.
One may think that by the time the health authorities get the coronavirus controlled, it would be too late for millions and millions of homeowners, landlords, and tenants.
Meanwhile, we at Better Off Home Buyers will keep in our mission of helping homeowners with their selling properties needs.
If you are a homeowner or a small landlord and you are having a hard time during this COVID-19 crisis, don’t let your property goes into foreclosure. Losing a house have terrible consequences. It is a negative impact on your credit score. You will lose the ability to get any loan for the next 7 years as a minimum.
Selling your property to Better Off Home Buyers will eliminate the negative effects of a foreclosure. Emotionally, you will feel better knowing you can start all over again in a short time. You and your family will be working one more time to achieve your dreams.
Contact us for more information to help you. Fill out the form on this page or dial directly (503) 212-9641. Thank you.