Know Your Rights
Foreclosure Fairness Act
The Foreclosure Fairness Act (FFA) governs the foreclosure process in Washington State and went into effect in July of 2011. The FFA lays out the timeline and responsibilities of both banks* and homeowners in relation to the foreclosure process. There is a set timeline with notices that banks* must follow before a home can be foreclosed on. Banks are required to send three notices in this order; Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options, Notice of Default and Notice of Trustee Sale. When a homeowner responds to these notices, in a timely manner, there can be additional time that is afforded to reach a workout with the bank*. As a result of the passage of the FFA homeowners now have the right to mediation (only a Housing Counselor or an attorney can request mediation on behalf of the borrower). Mediation is a homeowner’s ability to meet with a “decision maker” from the bank with a natural third party present (mediator) in an attempt to clarify documentation, program guidelines, and avoid “unnecessary foreclosure.” The Foreclosure Fairness Act is powerful legislation only if a homeowner utilizes the rights that it provides.
The Washington Homeownership Center highly recommends that homeowners in Washington State that are facing foreclosure contact the WHRC to be connected to a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor immediately to reserve these rights.
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For More Information on how to identify and respond to Notices:
Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options
Notice of Default
Notice of Trustee Sale
Click to read the full Foreclosure Fairness Act