The Foreclosure Fairness Act (“FFA”), which took effect in Washington state on July 22, 2011, provides an opportunity for Washington homeowners to seek relief from the foreclosure tidal wave of the past four years.
The housing crisis continues to escalate nationwide. In Washington alone, foreclosures jumped from approximately 7,000 in 2007 to more than 45,000 in 2010, ranking Washington around tenth in the nation in the number of foreclosures. Homeowners are feeling particularly frustrated by the securitizing of home loans, perceived lack of accountability of loan servicers, and perceived lack of compliance with laws concerning pre-foreclosure rights. One of their biggest complaints, however, is the inability to speak with someone who has the actual authority to modify their loan. Additional complaints at the top of their list include loss of paperwork by the servicer, inappropriate denial of temporary loan modifi cations, and what they feel is a lack of response to the question of who has the proper authority to foreclose.
The FFA provides that, once a homeowner becomes delinquent on his or her loan, the beneficiary or authorized agent must send the borrower an initial contact letter at least 30 days before issuing a notice of default. Th is letter must inform the borrower to contact a housing counselor or attorney as soon as possible. Th e borrower must respond within 30 days of receipt of this letter, or the benefi ciary can issue a notice of default.
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