Q: I received a Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options letter from my bank. What do I do? Beverly in Bellevue, WA
A: We have seen clients who are just 30 days behind on their mortgage receive Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options.
There is good news for homeowners, however. The Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act (FFA) permits homeowners to request mediation with their bank to try to reach an agreement that avoids foreclosure. The act outlines a very specific process that both the homeowner and the lender must follow (there’s a chart below that provides an overview of the process.) It’s critical for the homeowner to follow these steps carefully.
The first step is for the lender to issue a Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options letter. You have 30 days from the date of the letter to request a face-to-face meeting with the lender to discuss your situation. You then have an additional 60 days to meet with the lender before they can progress to the next step in the foreclosure process, issuing a Notice of Default. If you do not request the face-to-face meeting within the 30 day time limit, then the bank may issue the Notice of Default any time after 30 days from the date of the Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options.
The purpose of the face-to-face meeting is to see if an agreement can be reached for a loan modification or other option to avoid foreclosure. We always advise any client facing foreclosure to consult with an attorney to discuss the legal implications.
We offer free attorney consultations as part of our service. Call us at (425)381-2233 and to schedule your free consultation.
The Washington Foreclosure Mediation Toolkit (PDF) has comprehensive information about the foreclosure mediation process in Washington State.