Portland, OR asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Oregon

Q: What's my primary residence?

I have a home that I lived in from 2009-2015. I retired in 2016, and bought a condo in a different part of the state, and have since rented out my home. I travel frequently - other parts of the state, overseas, family vacation home, and stay with family in other states. I'd say my breakdown of occupancy is as follows: Family vacay home 20%, family in other states 10%, overseas 20%, travel domestically 10%, and 40% in the condo. I have a HUD lien on my home that says my balance is due when the property is no longer my primary residence. What technically defines primary residence, if I am not in any place more than 50% of the time?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: According to this article you can rent your FHA insured home once you have lived in it as your primary residence for one year. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/can-rent-fha-loan-3231.html I honestly don't know how accurate this article is so you probably need to confirm this with a HUD loan specialist. (I don't specialize in HUD loans.)

What I can tell you is that there are all sorts of "due on" clauses in mortgages that are designed to protect the lender from a situation where the person they made the loan to is no longer the person living in the house, maintaining the house, and paying the loan. This comes up when there is a divorce and the spouse who isn't on the loan is awarded the house and takes over making the mortgage payments.

This has been my professional experience: Lenders don't actively investigate properties with loans unless there is a problem that comes to their attention. Their goal is to make a profit on the loan and they are usually happy if the loan payments come in like clock work. Also you want to make sure that you are never late paying property taxes or your home owner's insurance as these delinquencies might get noticed by the lender and trigger an investigation.

Moreover, the entire HUD program is a product of Federal Laws that were designed to help Americans find and afford housing. So your act of renting is providing housing to other individuals. I can't quote you the exact provisions of HUD that would apply at the moment, but years ago I was able to prevent a section 8 renter from being evicted from a HUD home that was in foreclosure by citing the Federal Laws that pertain to HUD loans. It seems that at the end of the day, any legal action taken with respect to a property with a HUD backed loan as to take into consideration the goal of HUD which is to provide housing. In the situation I mentioned, the agency handling the foreclosure sale had to offer the property for sale with the low income tenant still living their as a renter. A buyer did buy the property with the low income tenant in place (it was a duplex) and everyone was happy.

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