If you've had any local news on at all today, you probably heard about the unraveling of negotiations in Salem toward an agreement on a set of foreclosure bills.
These two bills had wide bipartisan support in the Oregon Senate. But there's too much crazy rightwing crap in the Oregon House Republican caucus to overcome, it seems.
Four foreclosure bills were introduced into the Oregon House this session. None were granted a hearing. The senate bills that made it to the House side stop dual track foreclosures, a practice in which mortgage lenders to move ahead with foreclosure even as the homeowner is trying to modify their loan. The legislation also includes actual enforcement mechanisms, bank accountability measures and requires face to face mediation. A number of other states use mediation because it gives homeowners a good shot at getting accurate information about their foreclosure-avoidance options and to hold banks and other lenders accountable. This type of mediation has been known to reduce foreclosures by as much as 50%.
After two editorials by the Oregonian and many angry emails, House Rs introduced an amendment. Sources in Salem tell me that it was essentially written by the lobbyist for the banker's association. The amendment watered down the senate bills by removing enforcement, getting rid of mandatory mediation, and expansion to community banks.
For more on this amendment stuff, read Kari's write up of that here.
In short, the House Republicans drug their feet until they had no choice, then tried to weaken the legislation to turn it into something basically worthless.
When the Dems wouldn't give in, the GOP walked away.
This is a complete and utter failure by the Oregon House Republicans. They chose big banks over Oregon homeowners. They chose big money fraud over their own citizens.
By the way Sunriver residents, you might want to get serious about sending someone else to Salem. Your current guy is tainted by the stench of having no shame whatsoever.