Now, explains Foster, the options will be listed clearly in the initial letter – although time is still critical under the new law. The homeowner has 30 days after receiving the letter to request the meeting or their bank can proceed with foreclosure.
An attorney or a housing counselor can represent homeowners at the meeting or in mediation. The housing counselors must be approved by either HUD or the Washington Housing Finance Commission.
Foster thinks the new law will help more people avoid foreclosure. He says plenty need it.
“I haven’t seen any slowdown. I still get probably at least one call a week from either a potential new client, a client referral or a friend referral – someone facing either potential foreclosure or their house is ‘underwater’ – and they want to know what their options are.”
The Washington Department of Commerce offers information about the new law online at www.commerce.wa.gov.