Washington's Foreclosure Fairness Act is being amended and will take effect in June 2012. Among the changes include a new timeline and additional requirements for both the borrowers and lenders. The new rule will require a Notice of Default before mediation can be initiated. And it will allow extra time to request mediation. Currently, once the Notice of Trustee's Sale has been recorded, the borrower loses the right to mediation. That will change.
Some things will remain the same though. The statute still requires a HUD Counselor or Attorney to refer borrowers to mediation; borrowers cannot simply apply for, or refer themselves to, mediation. Given the lengthy statutory requirements that both sides have to comply with, most borrowers will not want to tackle this on their own. This is the borrowers one last chance to directly discuss workout options with their lender. Borrowers are expected to know what is required and to comply with the law.
Since the Foreclosure Fairness Act was enacted last year, our office has represented numerous clients in mediation and other debt relief proceedings. If you are facing foreclosure and you cannot get help from the lender, do not wait! We can only apply for relief under state law before a foreclosure is scheduled.