Options to Avoid Foreclosure in Washington State
If you have fallen behind on your mortgage, chances are you spend a lot of time fearing the arrival of notice of foreclosure by your mortgage lender. Once you receive notice, the most common question is: What can I do to stop foreclosure proceedings and keep my home? The Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act does give homeowners in the state some options to work out an arrangement with the bank and to fight foreclosure proceedings.
You should receive a Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options, which begins the process. From that date, you have only 30 days to request a meeting with the mortgage lender. In this meeting, you will meet in-person with a bank representative to see if you can come to an agreement regarding an alternative option for catching up on your loan to avoid foreclosure. Some examples of alternative options may include:
- Forbearance agreement
- Short sale1
- Loan modification
- Deed in lieu of foreclosure
It is always helpful to have an attorney with you at this meeting who knows how to negotiate with mortgage lenders and who can help facilitate a favorable agreement that allows you to keep your home.
If you are unable to work out a solution at the meeting with your lender, the law gives you the right to have a mediation session. The law requires that you have a referral from either a real estate attorney or state housing counselor. This mediation session will involve you and your attorney, your lender, and a third party mediator who will strive to help you negotiate an agreement. Each party is required to have good faith intentions to reach a solution in mediation. If your mortgage lender does not negotiate in good faith, you may be able to halt foreclosure proceedings. If you come to an agreement in mediation, the foreclosure proceedings will stop as long as you abide by the agreement.
At the Seattle and Tacoma-based law firm of the Dickson Law Group, our attorneys have extensive experience assisting homeowners through the foreclosure process and making sure that their legal rights are protected. Any homeowner facing foreclosure can significantly benefit from consulting with a Washington real estate attorney as soon as possible.
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