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After notice of default how long can I stay in my property

Kirkland, WA |

In WA state how long can I live in my property after recieving my default notice. As of Feb 1 I am 90 days past due All my other bills are current as I trying to only have the foreclosure on my credit

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Attorney answers 2

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The previous post is correct in saying a lot depends on the lender. Also, the trustee that the lender chooses. Many of the homes purchased in WA are under a deed of trust. The deed of trust act provides for certain procedural timelines that must be followed in order to foreclose a home without going to court.

The overall timeline is 210 days. We start counting from the day you stop payment, so in your case, it would seem you stopped the first part of November. So using November 1st as our date of default (first day you missed your payment) the bank has 70 days before it can issue a "Notice of Default." This letter must meet certain statutory requirements and be served or posted and usually is sent certified.

Thirty (30) days after the Notice of Default, the lender, but more likely the Trustee will send the "Notice of Trustee's Sale." This letter is also required to follow the format of the statute, tells the homeowner when the home will be sold (always 90 days out and on a Friday at the court house steps). Between the time of that notice and the sale, the Trustee will publish two notices in a local news paper giving details of the sale.

After the sale takes place, a homeowner who uses the property as a residence has twenty (20) days to vacate or the new owner will be forced to bring an unlawful detainer action to remove the homeowner. When you add up the 70, 30, 90, and 20 you come up with 210 days or 7 months.

Because the lenders and trustees are not always on top of their game, this process is usually a little longer with weekends, holidays, etc. Since you have gone 90 days already without the Notice of Default, you have already been there longer than the minimum. The Notices, because they are required to follow the statute, should be reviewed carefully, I recommend using an attorney, because failures in the notice, in my experience have allowed me to force the lenders and trustees to start the process over.

Every time you force the trustee to start the process over for mistakes means you live rent free in the home for that much longer. I bought one client 4 months for a $200 letter. That is a good return on investment in my opinion. I think I should increase the cost of that letter.

Take a look at my article, "Strategic Default...Why its Good for the Economy?" at


The answer to your question depends on how quickly your lender takes action. The first required notice under Washington law in a non-judicial foreclosure is the notice of default. This notice gives you 30 days to bring your arrears current. If you do not do so, a second notice called a notice of sale is required. The notice of sale provides you with an additional 90 days to bring the arrears current.

There are steps you can take (such as a bankruptcy filing or the filing of a temporary restraining order in state court) that may act to delay this process.

Please note, this is not legal advice and should not be construed as such.