Foreclosure Defense

Foreclosure defense is a cornerstone of our practice. As a full-service firm, we offer a variety of options and strategies. Whether you wish to save your home or simply buy time for as long as possible until you have to leave, we can help. See below for some of our strategies.

Mortgage Fraud Litigation

See our Mortgage Fraud page for more information.  If you suspect that the bank does not have your promissory note, has committed fraud, engaged in predatory lending, or another relevant issues, we can counsel you on your rights and litigate if your facts indicate that it is a good option.

Quiet Title & Adverse Possession

If you have not paid in six or more years, you may be entitled to file a quiet title or adverse possession action.  In general, due to the nature of an installment contract, you will need to have received either a notice of acceleration or have filed a bankruptcy and obtained a discharge.  The six or more years time frame runs after either discharge or receipt of the letter of acceleration.

Mortgage Broker Practices Act & Consumer Loan Act Violations

Lenders have rules under Washington Law.  In general, banks and national lenders fall under Federal Law and to a lesser extent Washington Law.  However, unlicensed, private, and/or hard money lenders squarely fall under Washington consumer protection laws.  In additional to RCW 19.86 (Washington Consumer Protection Act), the Mortgage Broker Practices Act (RCW 19.146) and the Consumer Loan Act (RCW 31.04) may apply.

Mortgage Rescue Scams

There are many individuals, companies, and even law firms that offer mortgage rescue scams.  Usually it involves some sort of quiet title and lease back/rent to own option where you sign your rights to a third party.  Most of these are not legitimate and are scams.  Washington has laws in place to fight this sort of activity.  In additional to the Washington Consumer Protection Act you also have rights under RCW 19.144.

Loan Modification Can Stop Foreclosure

We offer loan modification services through the Foreclosure Fairness Mediation Program. A successful loan modification stops the foreclosure process. We can determine if you should qualify for a loan modification by analyzing whether you pass the net present value test (NPV test). We offer both a full service option where we handle each part of the process as well as a low cost assistance only option where we help you to prepare your own loan modification package.

Foreclosure Fairness Mediation Representation

The Foreclosure Fairness Mediation Act (FFMA) became law in Washington State in 2011 (see RCW 61.24). The FFMA requires that homeowners are offered a chance to mediate directly with the bank holding the loan to see if a loan modification, deed in lieu, or other work out is possible. We represent homeowner’s in FFMA meet and confer and mediation hearings.

We help you to be successful at your FFMA mediation by seeing if you pass the net present value test (NPV test) which is the baseline test to see if you qualify for a loan modification. Additionally, we analyze title documents and mortgage loan histories for errors or fraud. If fraud or error is found, we can use this to help obtain a favorable loan modification or to pursue a civil suit on your behalf. If during mediation your bank will not negotiate in good faith, this can be a defense to the foreclosure.

Bankruptcy Stops the Foreclosure Process

Filing a bankruptcy, whether chapter 7 or chapter 13, stops the foreclosure process. This can buy you extra months in your home until the foreclosure can proceed. If you file a chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can spread any missed payments over 3-5 years and possibly strip off second or third mortgages. You can also choose to surrender the home and avoid liability for any potential deficiency judgment.

Temporary Restraining Order to Stop the Foreclosure

The Washington State foreclosure process has many requirements. If the foreclosure trustee takes short cuts and does not follow the process exactly, we can obtain a temporary restraining order to stop the foreclosure sale until the defects are cured. Sometimes, this requires the foreclosure process to be restarted entirely. Additionally, if the bank does not have the proper documents or does not follow the requirements of Washington’s Deed of Trust Act (see RCW 61.24) we can obtain a restraining order against the sale. Many times, if there are enough facts in your favor to obtain a restraining order, there are enough facts to file a civil claim for damages.

Wrongful Foreclosure Litigation

Many Foreclosure Trustee’s do not follow the law and foreclose wrongfully.  Issues of proper notice, procedure, chain of title, and holding the note can all be a basis for stopping a foreclosure and recovering damages.  We can file a temporary restraining order to stop a sale, litigate the issue in state court, or even file a bankruptcy and litigate the issue inside bankruptcy court.

Call Us Today to Learn About Your Legal Options

Foreclosure defense is a nuanced area of law which requires an understanding of the foreclosure process, the financial consequences of foreclosure, and related areas of law allowing you to stop, delay, or set aside a foreclosure. At Washington Debt Law, foreclosure defense is a cornerstone of our practice. Call us today to see how we can help keep you in your home.