Foreclosure Fairness Act – 2017 Requirements

It’s that time again…

Homeowners that the credit union has provided a Notice of Default to, and lived in their home when the foreclosure processes started, are eligible to participate in Washington State’s Foreclosure Fairness Act Mediation Program, unless the credit union has conducted less than 50 foreclosure sales during the previous year, and claimed their exemption status to the Department of Commerce.  Credit unions must also claim exemption to the required payment of $250 per property.  (Note: the limit  of foreclosure sales decreased from 250 for 2016 to 50 for 2017.)

Credit unions wanting to exempt themselves from the requirements must complete and return the exemption request letters by January 31, 2017.

Details regarding exemptions, from the Department of Commerce:

Financial institutions may certify two types of exemption: (1) exemption from payment of fees, and (2) exemption from foreclosure mediation.

Which institutions are exempt from payment of fees under the Foreclosure Fairness Act?

Federally insured depository institutions, are exempt from payment of fees IF they certify under penalty of perjury to Department of Commerce that they issued, or directed a trustee or authorized agent to issue, fewer than 50 notices of default for owner-occupied residential real properties during the preceding calendar year. In order to receive this exemption status, financial institutions must submit an exemption from fees certification to Department of Commerce each year.

2017 Exemption from Fees Template

Which institutions are exempt from mediation under the Foreclosure Fairness Act?

Federally insured depository institutions, are exempt from foreclosure mediation in Washington State IF they certify under penalty of perjury to Department of Commerce that they were not a beneficiary of deeds of trust in more than 50 trustee sales of owner-occupied residential real properties during the preceding calendar year. In order to receive this exemption status, financial institutions must submit an exemption from foreclosure mediation certification to Department of Commerce each year by January 31.

2017 Exemption from Mediation Template

A combined Exemption Form is available at:  2017 Exemption for Mediation and Fees Template

How do we certify exemption status?

To certify your annual exemption from fees and/or mediation, please choose one of the three exemption templates posted on our website at www.commerce.wa.gov/foreclosures under the “Financial Institutions” header. Make sure you use your financial institution’s letterhead and have the exemption letter hand-signed by a corporate officer under penalty of perjury. Please include an email and telephone number for us to contact you, should we have any questions. Exemption from mediation certificates must be postmarked no later than January 31 of each year, in order for your financial institution to receive exemption from foreclosure mediation status that year. The original hand-signed certifications must be mailed to: Foreclosure Fairness Program Manager Washington State Department of Commerce CSHD 1011 Plum Street SE PO Box 42525 Olympia, WA 98504-2525 The original hand-signed certifications must be mailed to:

Foreclosure Fairness Program Manager
Washington State Department of Commerce
CSHD
1011 Plum Street SE
PO Box 42525
Olympia, WA 98504-2525

Oregon State has a similar exemption process, limited to 175 foreclosures in the previous year, and credit unions should complete the form available at: http://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/pdf/form_300.pdf.

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