Washington Foreclosure Laws

Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes, but Rare
Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Security Instruments: Mortgage, Deed of Trust
Right of Redemption Period: Non-Judicial Foreclosure Only
Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Only with Judicial Foreclosure
Time Frame: 120 Days
Public Notice: Notice of Default

Washington is considered to be a title theory state, which means that a property title will remain in trust until the loan is paid in full. In the state, a title can be secured by either a mortgage or a deed of trust. The state allows for both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure methods, but the judicial method is rarely used.

There is an eight (8) month right of redemption period where borrowers can reclaim their property after it has been sold by paying the amount of the highest bid at auction, plus interest. Redemption is only allowed with non-judicial foreclosure proceedings. Lenders can only sue for a deficiency judgment with judicial foreclosure proceedings, but not if the property has been abandoned for six (6) months prior to foreclosure.

Types of Foreclosures Allowed in Washington

Judicial Foreclosure

Judicial foreclosure, also known as foreclosure by judicial sale, involves selling the defaulted property under court supervision. In order for a judicial foreclosure to be possible, no power of sale clause may be present in the loan documents. The lender must file a lawsuit against the borrower and it will be up to the court to declare foreclosure. If so, then the property will be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure

Non-judicial foreclosure, which is also known as foreclosure by power of sale, does not require court supervision to sell the property. In order for non-judicial foreclosures in Washington to be possible, the loan documents must contain a power of sale clause.

There are two ways in which a non-judicial foreclosure in Washington can proceed. If the power of sale clause states a specific time, place, and outlines terms of sale, then the lender must follow the procedure that is stated. If there is no specification, then the sale must follow the following guidelines:

1. A notice of sale must be sent to the borrower via both regular and certified mail, return receipt requested at least thirty (30) days before the sale.

2. The county sheriff must publish the notice once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks in a newspaper that circulates in the county where the property is located. The sheriff must also post the notice in two public places, one being the courthouse door in the county where the sale is to take place, at least four (4) weeks before the sale.

3. The notice must contain the time and place of the sale, a description of the property, terms of the sale, and other relevant information.

4. The borrower will have up to eleven (11) days prior to the sale to stop the foreclosure process by paying their default plus additional costs in full.

5. The sale must be held between 9 am and 4 pm at the courthouse door on a Friday, unless the Friday is a legal holiday, which would lead to the sale being held the next business day. The sale must not be held less than 190 days from the date the borrower defaulted. The highest bidder will receive a certificate of sale.

6. The county sheriff may postpone the sale by posting a written notice of the changes.

7. Unless precluded, the borrower will have an eight (8) month right of redemption period following the sale.

8. The lender may not sue for a deficiency judgment with non-judicial foreclosure.

Hiring a Washington Foreclosure Lawyer

If you have defaulted on your loan and have already received a notice of foreclosure, there is still time to fight for your home. Turn to a leading foreclosure lawyer in Washington for help right away in preventing your property from being repossessed.

With a skilled foreclosure attorney on your side, you can rest assured that your case will end with the best possible outcome. Your paralegal will devise a plan of action to present to your lender as an alternative to foreclosure. Some ideas that your foreclosure lawyer may suggest include mortgage modification, short sale, refinancing or even a temporary halt in payments. Since foreclosures are actually costly for lenders, chances are in your favor that they will agree to your paralegal’s suggestions.

Regardless of the reason you defaulted, you have rights as a homeowner in Washington. There are elite foreclosure attorneys waiting to help you right now so call today to get started on your case.