As a homeowner it is important to know your rights. This article is specific to Washington State; please be aware of the foreclosure laws in your area.
Nearly all of us have questions, or know someone who has questions on what kind of programs exist in Washington State for homeowners who face financial difficulties. Stabilizing the housing market and fairly preserving home ownership is a very important step in stabilizing our economy.There are many programs and counseling programs available, some more effective than others. Be very aware of scams and frauds.
Homeowners should also know that there is a new law, effective July 22, 2011 in Washington State that forces mortgage lenders to “come to the table” in person, and have an actual conversation, face-to-face with individual homeowners.
This new law is called the Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act Mediation Program – and it has teeth! The program makes Washington the third non-judicial foreclosure process state in the country with a program designed to help homeowners find a resolution to foreclosure proceedings with their lender or servicer. This housing counseling is FREE. If you are referred to mediation, the cost to the homeowner is $200. The lender will also pay $200. The mediation is provided by neutral, 3rd party mediator services.
The Washington State Department of Commerce oversees this important program. More information is available from the Washington Department of Commerce at www.commerce.wa.gov/foreclosures.
For additional specific program questions, contact:
Phone: (360) 725-3026
The Washington State Homeownership Hotline, 1-877-894-HOME (4663) and www.homeownership.wa.gov is an important step in the process of finding out what programs exist.
According to the Washington State Department of Commerce, in 2010, Washington State saw more than 40,000 foreclosures. The new Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act Mediation Program should not be overlooked by any homeowner seeking help. If you’d like to watch a short public service announcement on this Act, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/wadfi
Here is some information regarding foreclosure “rescue” scams.
Here is a link to the Washington State Bar Association Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project. http://www.mywsba.org/default.aspx?tabid=161
Here is a link to Making Home Affordable and an unemployment assistance program. http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/unemployed-help/Pages/up.aspx
Here is a link to Veteran’s Adminstration Home Affordable Modification.
Here is a link to FHA Home Affordable Modification Program.
Here is a link to Get Help With Fallen Home Value.
By Leanne Finlay
Leanne has been selling homes since 1983 throughout the Northwest, specializing in the Seattle, Eastside and Whidbey Island neighborhoods.
You can learn more about Leanne, or contact her here: http://www.windermere.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=agentOffice.AgentDetail&agentMetauser_ID=119