March 27, 2012
• Posted in

DOJ files an amicus brief in an Oregon foreclosure lawsuit pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced the filing of an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief that seeks to protect struggling homeowners from wrongful foreclosures.

“Lenders using the MERS system have to follow Oregon law just like everyone else,” said Attorney General Kroger. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate lenders cutting corners in their rush to foreclose on Oregon homeowners.”

The legal brief was filed today with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a homeowner lawsuit challenging the legality of a foreclosure. Oregon law allows foreclosures to be conducted outside the courthouse – so-called “non-judicial” foreclosures – but only if every transfer of the loan documents has been properly recorded.

As in many other cases in Oregon, the lender transferred its right to receive payments from the homeowner to another financial institution and used the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. (‘MERS’) as its agent. Although the lender’s right to receive payments was transferred multiple times, some of those transfers were never recorded.

The legal brief is the latest effort by the Oregon Department of Justice to protect struggling homeowners. Last month, Attorney General Kroger announced his support for a multi-state settlement with major lending institutions. The settlement includes the following:

  • An estimated $30 million to the State of Oregon.
  • An estimated $100 to $200 million in relief to distressed Oregon homeowners including “underwater” borrowers and homeowners facing foreclosure.
  • Tough new servicing standards that protect all homeowners from unfair and unscrupulous servicing practices.

    In addition, the Department of Justice this year adopted emergency rules to protect homeowners from illegal foreclosures.

If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure you may be entitled to additional assistance. To receive updates as more information becomes available please sign up at www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov/homeowners.

Frequently Asked Questions can be found at www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov/homeowners/faqs.shtml.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.


Kate Medema, 503-569-3027, kate.e.medema@doj.state.or.us |