The number of foreclosures on Eugene-Springfield houses alone doubled in the first six months of 2009 from the same period the previous year. But Congress and the Oregon Legislature both passed laws this spring aimed at protecting tenants of foreclosed homes.
At the beginning of the three-year-old foreclosure crisis, renters were an overlooked population, said Sybil Hebb, attorney and lobbyist for the nonprofit Oregon Law Center, based in Portland.
“We all thought about it as a homeowner vs. lender discussion, but when these families started coming forward,” she said, “all too often, the tenants didn’t know the home was in foreclosure and had no reason to expect they were at risk for eviction.”
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