Six months into our investigation into unlawful business practices by foreclosure trustees, the Washington Attorney General’s Office announced that it has uncovered an additional widespread problem that jeopardizes homeowners’ chances of stopping a foreclosure.
“Foreclosures run on strict timelines and homeowners need a human who they can talk with face to face when there’s a problem,” Attorney General Rob McKenna said. “They need an office where they can make last-minute payments or show documents that may prove reasons for stopping forced sales.”
“Washington law requires that foreclosure trustees maintain actual offices in our state and local phone numbers for this reason,” he continued. “But our investigation shows that some of the largest trustees are not in compliance and borrowers who have a legitimate reason to stop a foreclosure are having trouble reaching trustees.”
McKenna said homeowners who believe they have a legitimate reason to stop a foreclosure should contact their trustee immediately, preferably with the advice of a housing counselor or an attorney. A homeowner who is unable to find a local address or phone number for their trustee should file a complaint with our ofifce.
Additional information about the investigation is included in today's news release.
- If you believe unlawful activity has occurred in regard to your mortgage, you should speak with an attorney. A homeowner may file a suit to challenge a foreclosure, but they must do so prior to the foreclosure sale.
- If you are unable to afford a lawyer, you should contact the Washington State Homeownership Information Hotline at 1-877-894-4663 (HOME) for referral to the Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project. The hotline can also refer to you to a free, state-approved housing counselor.
- The Attorney General’s Office cannot stop a foreclosure or provide individuals with legal advice, as the office is barred by law from representing private citizens.
- Homeowners should read the Washington Foreclosure Prevention Resources Guide, provided by the Seattle-King County Asset Building Collaborative Foreclosure Prevention Team and recommended by the Attorney General's Office and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
- Additional resources can be found at www.atg.wa.gov/foreclosure.aspx.