Westminster, CA asked in Foreclosure for Washington

Q: My husband and I divorced 7 yrs ago. I moved out while he stayed in our house that was near foreclosure.

I signed the house over to him in the divorce paper(s). I say paper, bcuz it was just 1 signature on said topic.

However my question is wouldnt I need to sign on the actual foreclosure documents also??? Since purchasing the house required a phone books worth of signatures.

I felt it was odd to have learned our house foreclosed 1 yr after the fact without my participation or knowledge. Is that legal?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Greg Freeze
Greg Freeze
  • Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
  • Port Townsend, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: Here is a likely scenario of events. You were served, somehow, with the Summons and Complaint. How you got served can vary. You can find out how the bank's attorneys said you got served by looking at the court paperwork, found at the court in the county where the property resides.

You could have been served in person, by someone serving in person at what was registered as your residence, or if you were extremely difficult to find, by publication in the newspaper.

But, having been served, you didn't file an answer. After a period of time, the bank's attorneys filed a motion to have the court consider you in default. That's in default on the court case, not in default for not paying the house payment. Once you were "in default" on your court case, the bank's attorneys worked their way through getting a default judgment against you.

Foreclosure has more steps, even after the judgment, on the way to getting the property out of your name into the foreclosure buyer's name.

Had you got involved with the court case, you could have got involved with negotiating a Stipulated General Judgment of Foreclosure. That would be the only circumstance where you would have signed anything.

There is a redemption period (RCW 6.23 et. seq.) that sometimes gives rise to a signature from a foreclosed party in possession of the property. The opportunity for a signature is related to selling the "redemption right" to the buyer.

Finally, the document that that gives the buyer the property is a Sheriff's Deed. That document is signed by the Sheriff, not the old owners.

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