61.24.146  <<  61.24.160 >>   61.24.163

Housing counselorsGood faith duty to attempt resolutionResolution describedMediationLiability for civil damagesAnnual report.

(1)(a) A housing counselor who is contacted by a borrower under RCW 61.24.031 has a duty to act in good faith to attempt to reach a resolution with the beneficiary on behalf of the borrower within the 90 days provided from the date the beneficiary initiates contact with the borrower and the date the notice of default is issued. A resolution may include, but is not limited to, modification of the loan, an agreement to conduct a short sale, a deed in lieu of foreclosure transaction, or some other workout plan.
(b) Nothing in RCW 61.24.031 or this section precludes a meeting or negotiations between the housing counselor, borrower, and beneficiary at any time, including after the issuance of the notice of default.
(c) A borrower who is contacted under RCW 61.24.031 may seek the assistance of a housing counselor or attorney at any time.
(2) Housing counselors have a duty to act in good faith to assist borrowers by:
(a) Preparing the borrower for meetings with the beneficiary;
(b) Advising the borrower about what documents the borrower must have to seek a loan modification or other resolution;
(c) Informing the borrower about the alternatives to foreclosure, including loan modifications or other possible resolutions; and
(d) Providing other guidance, advice, and education as the housing counselor considers necessary.
(3) A housing counselor or attorney assisting a borrower may refer the borrower to mediation, pursuant to RCW 61.24.163, if the housing counselor or attorney determines that mediation is appropriate based on the individual circumstances and the borrower has received a notice of default. The referral to mediation may be made any time after a notice of default has been issued but no later than 90 days prior to the date of sale listed in the notice of trustee's sale. If an amended notice of trustee's sale is recorded after the trustee sale has been stayed pursuant to RCW 61.24.130, the borrower may be referred to mediation no later than 25 days prior to the date of sale listed in the amended notice of trustee's sale.
(4) For borrowers who have received a letter under RCW 61.24.031 before June 7, 2012, a referral to mediation by a housing counselor or attorney does not preclude a trustee issuing a notice of default if the requirements of RCW 61.24.031 have been met.
(5) Housing counselors providing assistance to borrowers under RCW 61.24.031 are not liable for civil damages resulting from any acts or omissions in providing assistance, unless the acts or omissions constitute gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
(6) Housing counselors shall provide information to the department to assist the department in its annual report to the legislature as required under RCW 61.24.163(18). The information provided to the department by the housing counselors should include outcomes of foreclosures and be similar to the information requested in the national foreclosure mortgage counseling client level foreclosure outcomes report form.


FindingsIntentShort title2011 c 58: See notes following RCW 61.24.005.
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