Washington Foreclosure Process

Link to Washington Foreclosure Laws

Washington Foreclosure sales are by public auction.

Foreclosure Overview

Washington foreclosure can be conducted both in court, called Judicial, and out of court, which is called non-judicial.  Non-judicial foreclosure is more common. The out-of-court foreclosure process timeline is about five months.

Pre-foreclosure Period

For judicial Washington foreclosure proceedings, a lender files suit against a borrower. The minimum time for a court ruling is 30 days. This time is extended to 60 days for an out-of-state borrower. If the court rules in favor of the lender, the property is sold to recover the amount owed. A sheriff’s sale will be conducted around 6-8 weeks following court’s ruling.

Before starting a non-judicial Washington foreclosure, the lender is required to mail a Notice of Default, (NOD), to the borrower. The NOD must also be posted at the property or served to the borrower in person. The borrower has 30 days to respond prior to the property being scheduled for public sale.

Up to11 days before the sale, the borrower may stop the foreclosure by paying the past due payments, plus all applicable costs.

In a Washington foreclosure, a borrower most likely get the right to:

  • get a pre-foreclosure notice called a “breach letter”
  • apply for loss mitigation
  • participate in foreclosure mediation
  • receive special protections if the borrower or spouse is in the military
  • pay the overdue payments, plus fees and costs, to bring the loan current
  • pay off the loan to prevent a foreclosure sale, and
  • get any excess money after a foreclosure sale.

Notice of Sale & Auction

If a borrower is unable to stop the foreclosure within 30 days after receiving the NOD, the lender records a Notice of Sale, (NOS), with the county recorder. The NOS is recorded a minimum of 90 days prior to the sale date and must be mailed to the borrower and any other affected parties.

The NOS is also required to be published twice in a local newspaper. The lender publishes the NOS once between the 32nd and 28th days prior to the sale, and again between the 11th and 7th days before the sale.

Foreclosure sales are by public auction. The property is awarded to the highest bidder, who must pay in cash at the end of the auction. For out-of-court foreclosures, the trustee transfers ownership to the winning bidder, who may then take possession of the property 20 days or more after the foreclosure sale.

The borrower has no right to redeem the property after sale.

For court foreclosures, the borrower has redemption rights for one year from the date of sale. However, in order to redeem the property, the borrower has to pay the full amount due and all applicable costs. Also, during the redemption period, the borrower is allowed to remain in possession of the property if it is used as their primary residence.


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