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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Questions and Answers about the Lien Amnesty Program

The Bureau of Development Service Lien Amnesty Program is a limited-time program intended to help property owners erase financial burdens by offering significantly reduced payoff amounts on outstanding Bureau of Development Services code enforcement liens. 

El programa de amnistía es de tiempo limitado, el cual tiene la intención de ayudar a los propietarios a eliminar las cargas financieras, ofreciéndole reducir ampliamente los cobros pendientes de los gravámenes con la Oficina de Servicios de Desarrollo (Bureau of Development Services).

What is a code enforcement lien?
A lien is the result of a fee or fine attached to a property that is found to be out of compliance with the City of Portland’s building, property maintenance, and/or zoning codes. A lien is the last step in a long list of enforcement efforts – property owners receive multiple notifications, compliance periods, deadlines, and waiver options before a lien is assessed.

How does this program help me?
Liens are recorded on the City of Portland Lien Docket maintained by the City Auditor’s Office. If a property has a lien on it, it may be difficult to sell, refinance, or borrow against it. Because liens do not expire, they can remain an encumbrance on the property’s title for many years, accruing additional penalties, billing charges, and interest, if not addressed by the property owner. 

The Lien Amnesty Program gives property owners the option to voluntarily resolve liens that cloud their property’s title at a significantly reduced payoff amount.

Once liens are paid off, the lien is satisfied and removed from the City Lien Docket and this encumbrance on the property title is cleared, making it easier to sell, refinance, or borrow against the property.

How do I know if I qualify?
If violations existed on your property that also resulted in a code enforcement lien placed on the property by the Bureau of Development Services, you may qualify for a 50% or 53% reduction in the amount of principal, interest and penalty that has accrued on the lien. The violation case that resulted in the lien assessment must be closed. 

What charges do not qualify for the discount?
The Bureau of Development Services is offering the 50% or 53% discount on the principal, interest, and penalty of the lien. Charges associated with hard costs (contractor abatements, demolitions, code hearings charges, Title Reports, etc.) and City of Portland Auditor’s Office charges do not qualify for a discount.

Do I have to pay the lien in full to receive the discount?
A 50% discount will be applied to the principal, interest, and penalty if partial payment and a signed payment plan are submitted within 30 days of a lien amnesty offer letter, which is mailed after a request is received. 

If the lien amount is paid in full within 30 days of a lien amnesty offer letter, an additional 3% reduction (totaling a 53% reduction) is applied.

For property owners who cannot pay the reduced payoff in full within the 30 days, payment plans are available. Payment plan options range up to 5 years and require a first month payment.

What if I miss the May 31, 2019 deadline?
This is a limited-time offer that expires May 31, 2019. Property owners who miss this deadline can still request a review of the code enforcement liens on their property once the violation case is closed. There is no guarantee that a reduction will be offered after May 31, 2019. 

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Please do not submit multiple requests - this slows our response time.

Por favor no envíe varias solicitudes - esto disminuye nuestro tiempo para responder.

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