SEATTLE -

Property owners who lost their houses in the Oso mudslide probably still owe payments on their home loans.

Lyn Peters of the state Department of Financial Institutions says mortgages are legally binding contracts,even if the homes are gone.

The Seattle Times reports the state is advising survivors or their heirs to call their banks to work something out.

The CEO of Coastal Community Bank, which has branches in Arlington and Darrington, says it's willing to write off the debt if insurance doesn't help homeowners. Other banks may offer a temporary break on payments.

The newspaper reports a preliminary damage assessment found that 30 of the 42 homes in the destroyed neighborhood were primary residences and none of the 30 had landslide insurance.