A win for homeowners despite difficult year for Washington families, economy

It’s no secret this year was a difficult one for Washington. Persistent unemployment, the continuing budget gap, skyrocketing tuition, high gas prices, plummeting home values and cuts to essential services – at a time when they’re needed most – have damaged our state economy and left middle class families struggling to stay in their homes.

But in spite of all this bad news, this year’s bright spot came when the state legislature passed a positive bill for Washington families: the Foreclosure Fairness Bill. The bill provides funding for mortgage counselors, who will advise homeowners struggling to make payments, and requires banks to be involved in a mediation process – a system designed to prevent cases like this one.

And with the Foreclosure Fairness Act set to take effect this month, analysts expect more homeowners will be able to work out a plan to afford payments, have lower monthly payments and, most importantly, more will be able to stay in their homes. From the Washington News Service:

These types of recourse have always been available, says Jordan Foster, a consumer law attorney with the Tacoma firm Smith Alling – it’s just that panicked homeowners often get the run-around from lenders and do not know how to proceed.

“A lot of people are so unfamiliar with the process that they don’t realize there are a lot of options out there for them. A lot of people end up either just walking away or moving out, without even contacting the bank and seeing what options they might have.”

Making sure people know their rights and options as homeowners is simply a matter of respect and responsibility – and now it is law in Washington State.

Read more from the Washington News Service: WA Foreclosure Fairness Act Takes Effect »

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