Contesting False Service of Process & Preventing Sewer Service

Contesting False Service of Process & Preventing Sewer Service   "Sewer service" is a problem in Washington State as well as the rest of the country.  I would estimate about 90% of my clients were either falsely served or improperly served based on client interviews. False service is the hardest to deal with because you did not even know it happened.  All of a sudden there is a garnishment and the money you might use to try to vacate the default judgment has been taken and the total amount is so low its almost not worth fighting. Improper service is [...]

Statute of Limitations and Quiet Title in Washington State

Statute of Limitations and Quiet Title in Washington State   You have not paid your mortgage for years and you begin to wonder if there might be a statute of limitations for the bank to foreclose.  Quickly, you look up the statute of limitation in Washington State and find RCW 4.16.040 which holds that the SOL on a written contract is six years.  Six years passes and you are ready to file your Quiet Title action. Unfortunately, that is not how it works.  A mortgage is considered to be an installment contract.  There are two types of SOL's that apply.  [...]

Prohibited Communications From Debt Collectors

Prohibited Communications From Debt Collectors   Debt collectors like to harass you.  They reach out to your friends, family, and do whatever they can to embarass you into paying regardless of whether the debt is valid or not.  However, there are limitations.  One limitation is that they cannot send written communications to you that have any words or symbols that indicate that they are debt collectors pursuant to 15 USC 1692(b)(5) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: A debt collector may not use any language or symbol on any envelope or in the contents of any communication effected by [...]

Seattle Municipal Code 22.206.160- Extra Rights for Seattle Tenants

Seattle Municipal Code 22.206.160 Extra Rights for Seattle Tenants & Pitfalls for Landlords   Residential tenancies are governed by RCW 59.18 in the state of Washington.  However, these rules are modified in the city of Seattle by Seattle Municipal Code 22.206.160. For tenants, this is a bonus as it puts a just cause eviction requirement and places additional duties and limitations on landlords.  For landlords, it usually represents additional work and pitfalls to work around. The just cause ordinance is the most potent aspect of SMC 22.206.160.  On overview of the statute can be found here.  Some of the most common [...]

Landlord Tenant Law Series: Ejection, Tenancy at Will, and Getting Rid of Tenants with No Lease

Landlord Tenant Law Series: Ejection, Tenancy at Will, and Getting Rid of Tenants with No Lease No good deed goes unpunished.  You had some extra space or even a second home and out of the goodness of your heart you let some friends move in as they had no where else to go.  Now they won't leave. Under Washington Law, this type of situation is called a "tenancy at will" and it is not easy to resolve. Unlike a landlord in a traditional lease situation under the landlord tenant act (RCW 59.18 et. seq.), you do not have the ability [...]

Fighting Collection Claims Using Evidentiary Objections

Fighting Collection Claims Using Evidentiary Objections Did you know that most collection lawsuits can be defended by using evidentiary objections? An evidentiary objection in layman's terms means objecting to the evidence, or the lack thereof, that a creditor is relying upon in their lawsuit.  Here is an example of a typical allegation that will appear in a collection suit: 1.   ABC Generic Collections, Inc. is properly licensed in the State of Washington to collect debts.  ABC purchased the debt from the original creditor Bigbadbank, NA and therefore has standing to collect upon the debt. Unless the lawsuit is accompanied by [...]

How the Washington Foreclosure Fairness Mediation Act Can Help Homeowners

How the Washington Foreclosure Fairness Mediation Act Can Help Homeowners   In 2011, the Washington State Legislature enacted the Foreclosure Fairness Mediation Act. This Act was passed in part to combat Bank's reluctance to deal fairly and directly with homeowner's who are seeking loan modification, deed in lieu of foreclosure, and other loss mitigation options. One of the requirements of the Act is that prior to starting the foreclosure process, the beneficiary (meaning the lender or bank/financial institution that owns the promissory note and deed of trust) must attempt to contact the homeowner regarding potential work outs as an alternative [...]