Washington Home Foreclosure Laws

Get the basics on the laws governing the foreclosure process in Washington.



When looking for information about foreclosures, keep in mind that every state has its own set of laws that must be complied with. What is true in one state may be different in another. If you don’t plan to hire a lawyer, or simply want to find out first-hand what the law is in your state, the best place to look is in your state’s statutes.

Below is a guide to finding Washington’s foreclosure statutes online, followed by a summary of Washington’s foreclosure law.

Finding Washington’s Foreclosure Laws

The citation to Washington’s foreclosure law is Washington Revised Code Sections 61.12.040 to 61.12.170 and 61.24.020 to 61.24.140. Judicial foreclosures are covered in Sections 61.12.040 to 61.12.170, while nonjudicial foreclosures are addressed in Sections 61.24.020 to 61.24.140.

Take the following steps to find these statutes online:

  1. Start at the website of the Washington State Legislature: http://www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx.
  2. Click “Laws and Agency Rules” in the menu on the left side of your screen.
  3. Under the heading “Statutes and Constitution,” click “Revised Code of Washington.”
  4. Scroll down to and click “Title 61 Mortgages, deeds of trust, and real estate contracts.”
  5. Under the heading “Chapters,” click “61.12 Foreclosure of real estate mortgages and personal property liens.”

You should see a list of the sections in Chapter 61.12, with headings summarizing what is covered in each section.

To find the statutes covering nonjudicial foreclosures, follow steps 1 through 4 above, then click “61.24 Deeds of trust.”

Summary of Washington’s Foreclosure Law

Read on for a summary of Washington’s laws governing foreclosures.

Nonjudicial Foreclosure

In Washington, lenders may foreclose judicially by suing the borrower in court or nonjudicially by exercising their power of sale contained in the deed of trust. Generally, lenders choose to avoid the expense of a lawsuit and use nonjudicial foreclosures. Because nonjudicial foreclosures are also the most common type of foreclosure in Washington, this article focuses on the rules governing nonjudicial foreclosures.

Notice Requirements

A foreclosing lender must give two foreclosure notices to the defaulting borrower: a notice of default and a notice of sale. At least 30 days before the notice of sale, the notice of default must be sent to the borrower by both first-class and either registered or certified mail, and must either be posted in a conspicuous place on the property or personally served on the borrower. The notice of default must advise the borrower of the threat of foreclosure if the borrower does not cure the default within 30 days of the notice. Wash. Rev. Code § 61.24.030.

At least 90 days before the foreclosure sale, the notice of sale must be:

  • recorded in the office of the auditor in the county where the deed of trust was recorded
  • sent by first-class and either certified or registered mail to the borrower and other interested parties
  • posted in a conspicuous place on the property or served on any occupant of the property, and
  • published in a newspaper in the county where the property is located, once on or between the 35th and 28th day before the sale and once on or between the 14th and 7th day before the sale. Wash. Rev. Code § 61.24.040.

Right to Cure

A borrower has a right to cure his or her default and avoid foreclosure up to 11 days before the foreclosure sale. In order to cure the default, the borrower must pay the amount due under the terms of the deed of trust, including any expenses the trustee incurred from the default. Wash. Rev. Code § 61.24.090.

Right of Redemption

Washington does not allow redemption of the foreclosed property after a nonjudicial foreclosure sale. Wash. Rev. Code § 61.24.050.

In a judicial foreclosure, however, the borrower may redeem the foreclosed property up to eight months after the foreclosure sale if the lender has waived the right to a deficiency judgment. If the lender has not waived the right to a deficiency judgment, the borrower may redeem within one year of the sale. The borrower may redeem the property by paying the amount the purchaser paid for the property, interest, any taxes paid by the purchaser, and the amount of any lien on the property. Wash. Rev. Code § 6.23.020.

To find the law in your state, see Right of Redemption Laws and Foreclosure.

Deficiency Judgments

A lender may not sue a borrower for a deficiency after the foreclosure sale in a nonjudicial foreclosure. Wash. Rev. Code § 61.24.100. In a judicial foreclosure, however, a lender may go after a borrower for any deficiency after the foreclosure sale. Wash. Rev. Code § 61.12.070.

For a summary of your states’ law, see Anti-Deficiency Laws by State.

Emergency Mortgage Assistance

Certain borrowers may be eligible for emergency mortgage assistance loans. These loans cannot exceed the lesser of 24 months of mortgage payments or $20,000, are given on a first-come, first-served basis, and are limited to borrowers who meet income guidelines. Borrowers must repay the loan within 20 years. Wash. Rev. Code §§ 43.63A.610-43.63A.640.

by: , J.D.





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