If you are facing foreclosure in Washington, it’s important to understand some of the basics, including:
- the most common type of foreclosure procedure (judicial v. nonjudicial) used in Washington
- how much time you have to respond
- your rights and protections in the process, and
- what happens afterwards (for example, whether you’ll be liable for a deficiency judgment).
Below we have outlined some of the most important features of Washington foreclosure law. Keep in mind that this is just a summary; we’ve included statute citations so you can get more details from the laws themselves. And be sure to check out Nolo’s extensive Foreclosure section, where you can find information about all aspects of foreclosure, definitions of foreclosure terms (like redemption and reinstatement), and options to avoid foreclosure.
|Common types of foreclosure process||Nonjudicial: under power of sale in deed of trust Judicial: foreclosure required if property used primarily for agricultural purposes.|
|Time to respond||For mortgages written between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008, mortgage holder must personally contact homeowner at least 30 days before serving notice of default. A notice of default must be served on homeowner 30 days before notice of sale is served. The notice of default must be served by both first-class mail and by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and by either posting the notice on the premises in a prominent place or by personal service on homeowner. Foreclosing party must serve notice of sale in the same manner as the notice of default at least 90 days before sale date. No sale may occur within 190 days after the first default.|
|Reinstatement of loan before sale||Allowed up to 11 days before sale|
|Redemption after sale||No|
|Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages||None|
|Special state protections for service members||Wash. Rev. Code § 4.16.220|
|Deficiency judgments||Not allowed in nonjudicial foreclosures Judicial: may be obtained|
|Cash exempted in bankruptcy||About $11,000 for one person, $22,000 for a married couple under federal bankruptcy exemptions|
|Notice to leave after house is sold||New owner entitled to possession 20 days after purchase and may file eviction (unlawful detainer) lawsuit.|
|Foreclosure statutes||Wash. Rev. Code §§ 61.24.020 to 61.24.140|