If I apply for a loan modification or short sale, does this mean my foreclosure is stopped?
Not necessarily. Washington is a dual tracking State. This means the bank is allowed to move forward with foreclosure even if they’ve opened review of an alternative. Keep in close contact with your bank and ask them frequently to confirm the status of your foreclosure sale date.
Does the bank have to sue me in order to foreclose?
Not in Washington. Washington allows for non-judicial foreclosures. This means that the bank does not have to file a lawsuit against you. Instead, they can hire a Trustee who can send you a series of notices in order to sell your home and take it to auction.
What is the foreclosure timeline in Washington?
Once you stop making payments on your mortgage, your loan goes into default. Once you’re in default, your bank will likely start sending you Notices of Pre Foreclosure Options (NOPOs) or Acceleration Notices. These are the first notices you will receive. The letters will formally lay out that the lender knows you’re in default. The lender will ask you to pay the amount owed. Typically, a Trustee or foreclosure attorney is not involved at this time.
Once a file formally moves into foreclosure status, you will receive a Notice of Default (NOD). This is a formal notice, usually issued by the Trustee hired to execute your foreclosure. It will tell you the amount you owe to cure the default and any late fees that have been added. It will also tell you that you may be eligible to file for Mediation.
After you receive the NOD, you will receive a Notice of Trustee’s Sale (NOTS). This is the last notice you’ll receive before the public auction of your home. The NOTS must be issued with 120-days or more before any public auction of your home can be held. This notice will contain the date of the auction.
After the 120-days run, your home will be sold at auction.
Note: The above timeline is for non-judicial foreclosures which are allowed in Washington. You may also be sued judicially in Washington which means you will receive a formal complaint from your lender. Judicial foreclosures are lawsuits and the timeline is different than above.
When can I go to Mediation?
There are a few eligibility requirements to attend Mediation so please make sure you discuss your eligibility with an attorney but you are able to attend Mediation once you have received your Notice of Default.
Then, you can file for mediation all the way up until 20-days after your Notice of Trustee’s Sale is recorded. This is a strict deadline. The Department of Commerce will not let you file for Mediation on day 21 so being proactive is important.
If the bank has foreclosed on my home, when do I have to move?
After foreclosure, you can be evicted from the home after 20-days have gone by. At foreclosure, the home will either be purchased by a third party buyer or will revert back to the lender if no one purchases the home. Technically, you can be evicted by the new purchaser or bank after 20-days but oftentimes, homeowners end up being able to stay longer. It is definitely worth finding out what happened to your home at auction and then reaching out to the purchaser or bank to see if you can come up with a relocation agreement that will allow you a bit more time to move while helping you avoid eviction.