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Free foreclosure assistance offered

Low-income homeowners and renters affected by foreclosure now have access to new a statewide service that provides free legal assistance from an attorney to help address urgent foreclosure issues.
   Oregon Housing and Community Services has contracted with Legal Aid Services of Oregon to develop and deliver the new program.
   The statewide service will be offered both over the phone and in person from offices in Bend, Portland, Medford, Hillsboro, and Eugene.
   Interested households can call 1-855-412-8828 toll-free to learn more about the program.
   Intake specialists will screen callers for income eligibility and will refer qualified households to an available attorney.
   Program phone lines are staffed between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 1-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
   Assistance can be provided in English and Spanish, with additional translation services available if necessary. The program is funded by a May 2012 legislative appropriation, utilizing proceeds from the National Mortgage Settlement, settled in part by the state of Oregon's Department of Justice.
   In addition, OHCS and LASO are developing a referral program to provide legal assistance to moderate income households, utilizing sliding-scale and pro-bono assistance from private attorneys.
   This component of the program will provide moderate income households the opportunity to have a free one-hour consultation with an attorney, with additional representation offered at a discounted rate. Information about the program will be posted as it develops at OregonHomeownerSupport.gov.