Foreclosure in Whatcom County, Washington is a judicial proceeding which allows a mortgage lender to acquire ownership of the home that was used to secure the mortgage, in the event that the creditor defaults. Foreclosure typically involves a forced sale of the house at auction. Banks typically want to rid themselves of ownership of the home as soon as possible, collect as much money as they can, and then move on.
In all states in the U.S., including Washington, foreclosure by judicial sale is allowed. Under this system, the sale is overseen by a court of law, to ensure that the bank makes a good effort to get a reasonable price at the auction, and that any proceeds above the balance of the mortgage go back to the borrower. In various states, mortgages which have not been refinanced are "non-recourse loans." This means that, in the event of default, the bank can take ownership of the house and sell it; but if the sale price happens to be less than the balance of the mortgage, the lender cannot go after the debtor for the remainder. Because of this, some people have found that their best option is to simply walk away from the home if the mortgage is more than the house is worth. You should talk with a Whatcom County, Washington lawyer to see if this state is one of them.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Washington?
First and foremost, you should not dismiss the possibility of foreclosure. Failing to respond to collection calls from your lender will not make the problem go away. As unpleasant as this may seem, you should stay in contact with your creditor, and be forthright with them. It is crucial to remember that the bank does not really want your Whatcom County house - they expected to make a profit through the interest on your loan, and that's what they'd prefer to do. Accordingly, they will probably make reasonable accommodations to your financial situation if it means that you will be able to make some form of payment to them.
If no deal can be worked out, or the mortgage payments have become prohibitive, you may consider a "short sale". While the lender has to consent to it, many will take a moderate loss if it means avoiding foreclosure (which lenders usually treat as a last resort). This allows you to sell the house for whatever price it can fetch on the current market, and hand the proceeds over to the bank. If the sale nets less than the balance, some or all of the deficiency may be forgiven. You might also consider a "short refinance" which allows a part of the debt to be forgiven, and lets you refinance the rest.
How Can A Whatcom County, Washington Attorney Help?
If you are faced with the possibility of foreclosure in Whatcom County, Washington, an lawyer may be able to help. At the very least, he or she can advise you of your legal options.