Thanks for the replies, everyone.
Some more info in case anyone else stumbles upon this thread with anything to add.
This is Douglas County, Oregon.
We’ve lived here just shy of four years. A couple of years ago (in fact, I remember this clearly: I was watching CNN and it was day 37 of the gulf oil spill coverage when my phone rang) my landlord called and told me that they were likely selling the house. He was very upfront with me: they were not able to pay the back property taxes on the place and were putting it on the market; they no longer wanted to deal with two mortgages and the accompanying taxes and insurance. I guess they figured something out because he told me a couple weeks later that they weren’t selling after all.
I strongly suspect that TPTB (mortgage lender, insurance agency, county tax office) does not know that this place is a rental. Right after we moved in the owners refinanced, and insisted on being here during the appraisal inspection. I heard them tell the appraiser that we were “family”, just staying for the summer. Also, the fact that the BofA envelope was delivered here instead of their address is suspicious – why not send important documents to their address? I’m paranoid by nature, but even when I try to turn that off I can’t noodle that one out. My only explanation is BofA thinks the owners also occupy the house. If we aren’t legal renters (and, frankly, we probably aren’t – we didn’t sign a contract, just shook hands and haven’t had a problem since then, although I’m aware that may come back to bite us in the ass), I don’t know what protection we have.
I took the envelope to the landlord this afternoon. To kill time while he opened it, I asked him about borrowing his pickup to haul some brush off the property. He read through the papers, then happily resumed the conversation about yard care. Didn’t seem at all freaked out, and this is a guy that blows EVERYTHING out of proportion and freaks out at the smallest provocation, real or imagined. I took that as a good sign. He called me an hour or so later and invited my two boys over to swim in their pool (they live just a short distance away). He didn’t mention the envelope at all.
So now I’m stumped. The whole probaly-gonna-sell fiasco from two years ago is running through my head. Seems to be agreement that the foreclosure process is a lengthy one, but there may have been much going on before today that I was unaware of, and this is is the final act of months of negotiation between BofA and the landlord.
We were planning on moving anyway, but goddammit I want it to be on our terms, not someone else’s.