Washington Foreclosure Process and Laws


Quick Facts About the Washington Foreclosure Process

Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes

Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes

Primary Security Instruments: Deed of Trust, Mortgage

Timeline: Typically 120 days

Right of Redemption: Yes, but may be precluded

Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Yes

Lenders in Washington may foreclose on mortgages in default through a hudicial or non-judicial process.

Judicial Foreclosure
The judicial foreclosure process is done by filing a lawsuit to obtain a court order to foreclose, when no power of sale clause is present in a mortgage. The property can then be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure
When a power of sale clause is present in a mortgage, the non-judicial foreclosure process is done. This clause states that the borrower has pre-authorized the sale of the property to pay off the debt in the event of their default. The lender has the power to sell the property, and either he or a trustee can sell the property at an auction following the process outlined in the “Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines.”

Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines
If the mortgage specifies the terms of sale, these must be followed. If not, the judicial process must be done as follows:

  1. The notice of sale must be sent to the borrower by both regular and certified mail, return receipt requested. Another must also be sent by regular mail to the attorney of record for the borrower not less than 30 days before the date of sale.

    The notice of sale must be published by the sheriff once a week for four consecutive weeks in the county newspaper where the property is located. In addition to this, two notices should also be put up in public places within the county, with one being put up on the courthouse door at least 4 weeks before the date of sale.

    The notice must contain pertinent information regarding the sale, including the borrower, lender, mortgage information and the time and place of sale.

  2. The borrower has up to 11 days before the foreclosure sale to settle all debts and expenses to stop the foreclosure process.
  3. The sale is to be conducted at the courhouse door on a Friday, anytime between 9am-4pm. If the Friday is a legal holiday, the sale will be moved to the next following regular business day. The winning bidder shal receive a certificate of sale, and the sale may not be conducted less than 190 days from the date of default.

    A sale may be postponed up to one week by the sheriff by posting new notices adjacent to the original notices of sale.

The borrower usually has until eight months to redeem the property by paying the amount for which it was sold at the auction plus interest unless redemption rights has been precluded.

The lender may not sue for a deficiency judgement if the non-judicial process of foreclosure is done, but may do so with the judicial process unless the property was abandoned for six months before the decree of foreclosure.

Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available to provide you with the information and assistance you need to avoid foreclosure. As part of President Obama’s comprehensive Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP), you may be eligible for a special Making Home Affordable loan modification or refinance, to reduce your monthly payments and help you keep your home.

If you need help understanding the Making Home Affordable programs, you can use this search tool to find a counseling agency in your area that will provide you with free foreclosure prevention services. If you are eligible for the loan modification or refinance program, the counselor will work with you to compile an intake package for your servicer.

Foreclosure prevention counseling services are provided free of charge by nonprofit housing counseling agencies working in partnership with the Federal Government. These agencies are funded, in part, by HUD and NeighborWorks® America. There is no need to pay a private company for these services.

Seattle Regional Office

Seattle Federal Office Building
909 First Avenue, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98104-1000
Phone: (206) 220-5101

Toll-free: (877) 741-3281

Fax: (206) 220-5108

TTY: (206) 220-5254

Jurisdiction: Western and Central Washington

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,
Monday through Friday

Spokane Field Office

Thomas Foley U.S. Courthouse Building
920 West Riverside, Suite 588
Spokane, WA. 99201
Phone: (509) 368-3200

Fax: (509) 368-3209

TTY: (509) 368-3220

Jurisdiction: Eastern Washington

Bill Fattic
Field Office Director

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,
Monday through Friday