The 54-unit Woodwind Apartments in Albany, Ore., sits on the site of a 22-unit mobile home park. The complex was built in 2015 by Innovative Housing, Inc., which develops housing for low-income families.

File photo of housing in Albany, Ore.

Laurie Isola / OPB

The state’s foreclosure moratorium ended on Dec. 31. So now, Oregon homeowners who used this protection may be expected to resume mortgage payments and catch up on those missed.

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The moratorium was established to prevent foreclosures for people who lost income or couldn’t pay their mortgage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delia Hernandez with Oregon Housing and Community Services says there are other resources for homeowners in arrears. “The best thing we could tell people is not to panic. There is help available,” she said. “Homeowners who are behind on payments, they may also start getting calls and mail starting on Jan. 1. So anyone who is contacted by their lender should respond immediately.”

Hernandez said with the end of the foreclosure moratorium, she expects to see an upsurge in scams with dishonest offers of help. She reminded homeowners to only work with certified housing counselors and remember that their services are free.

The state government has a list of free certified housing counselors by county. Homeowners should be aware that some housing counseling agencies may be closed until Jan. 3 and may take longer to respond due to the holidays and remote working policies.

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