If I Lose My Home to Foreclosure in Washington, Can I Get It Back?

In most cases, if you lose your home to foreclosure in Washington, you won’t be able to get it back by redeeming it.

By , Attorney · University of Denver Sturm College of Law

You might get the chance to repurchase or "redeem" your home after losing it in a Washington foreclosure, although it's not likely. State law provides foreclosed homeowners with the right of redemption, but only under specific circumstances. If yours is like most foreclosures in Washington, you won't be able to get the house back by redeeming it after the sale.

Washington's redemption laws are explained in further detail below.

What Is the Right of Redemption After a Foreclosure Sale?

In about half of the states, homeowners get one final chance to save their home, even after a foreclosure sale. The right to redeem the property after a foreclosure sale is called a "statutory" right of redemption because it's set out in the state statutes (laws).

Suppose your state provides a statutory right of redemption. In that case, you get a redemption period, which is a limited amount of time to repurchase the home from the person or entity that bought it at the foreclosure sale. Depending on state law, you must either reimburse the purchaser for the price paid at the sale or pay off the full amount you owed on the mortgage loan, plus foreclosure fees and costs.

Basically, the redemption period gives you some additional time after the foreclosure sale to find funding to buy your home back. The length of the redemption period following the sale, if available, varies widely depending on state law and the particular circumstances.

Do I Get a Right to Redeem After a Foreclosure Sale in Washington?

Whether you can redeem your home after the sale in Washington depends on whether the foreclosure was judicial or nonjudicial. Here are the rules:

Right to Redeem After a Judicial Foreclosure in Washington

Following a judicial foreclosure sale, you can redeem within either:

If you don't redeem the home within this time frame, called the "redemption period," your right to get the house back this way expires. After that, you won't have another opportunity to redeem your home.

No Right to Redeem After a Judicial Foreclosure of an Abandoned Home

If the court determines that you've abandoned the home for six months or more, you don't get a redemption period after confirmation of the sale. (Wash. Rev. Code § 61.12.093).

No Right to Redeem After a Nonjudicial Foreclosure in Washington

You can't redeem the home after a nonjuducial foreclosure in Washington. (Wash. Rev. Code § 61.24.050)(1)). Because most foreclosures in Washington are nonjudicial, foreclosed homeowners in the state of Washington usually don't get a right to redeem after the sale.

How Much You'll Have to Pay to Redeem Your Home After a Judicial Foreclosure in Washington

To redeem (if you get that right), you must reimburse the person or entity who bought the home at the foreclosure sale for the amount of the bid, plus all other allowable charges after the sale, including:

  • interest
  • amounts the purchaser paid on prior liens, plus interest
  • if the purchaser from the sale was a creditor and it has another lien on the property (other than the one that was foreclosed), the amount of the lien plus interest, and
  • amounts the purchaser paid for assessments or taxes, plus interest on that amount. (Wash. Rev. Code § 6.23.020(2)).

How to Redeem Your Washington Home After a Judicial Foreclosure

To redeem the home, you'll have to give the sheriff at least five days' written notice that you intend to redeem before actually paying the redemption amount. (Wash. Rev. Code § 6.23.080). If you need help with the notice or have other questions about the procedure for redeeming the home, get help from a Washington attorney.

Take Action Before the Foreclosure Sale to Save Your Home

If you want to keep your home and the foreclosure is nonjudicial, you'll need to figure out how to do this before the sale. Even with a judicial foreclosure, it's better to take action before the foreclosure sale.

You might be able to, for example, pay off the past-due amounts to reinstate the mortgage. Under Washington law, you can reinstate the loan at any time prior to the 11th day before the sale. (Wash. Rev. Code §§ 61.24.040, 61.24.090). Or you might be able to work out an alternative to foreclosure that will allow you to keep the house, like a mortgage modification, forbearance agreement, or repayment plan.

Read More Articles

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Talk to a Washington Foreclosure Lawyer

If you're behind in mortgage payments and worried about foreclosure, you might have more options than you think. Consider talking to a foreclosure attorney to learn about alternatives. A lawyer can advise you about loss mitigation options, your legal rights in a foreclosure, and defend you against a foreclosure in court.

Also, consider contacting a HUD-approved housing counselor if you need more information about loss mitigation options or want help with the application process.

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