If your home has been foreclosed upon in a trustee sale after going through the foreclosure process in Washington State and you are looking to get surplus funds after a foreclosure sale, you are not alone and you should speak to a foreclosure surplus funds attorney to learn about your options. Often times former homeowners who had their homes foreclosed upon according to the foreclosure process in Washington State are unaware that if somebody makes a bid at auction over the amount that is owed on the property, then you may be entitled to those surplus funds. Any surplus funds received by the foreclosing trustee will be placed in the Superior Court of the county in which the foreclosure sale took place per RCW 61.24.090. Notice will be sent out to any interested parties per RCW 61.24.040(1)(b), notifying them of the funds and to claim the funds if they think they may be entitled to them. If you have moved and a foreclosing trustee does not have your new address on file, you may never receive this important notice. I had the opportunity to discuss how to get your surplus funds after a foreclosure sale in Washington State on 1150am KKNW and you can listen to the full segment here:
What If I Receive a Letter From a Company who Says They Can Locate and Distribute Surplus Funds Owed to Me?
Often times, consumers are unaware that they have surplus funds after a foreclosure sale and receive a letter that they may have surplus funds owed to them. These letters are typically from companies, many of which are out of Washington state, who claim they can locate these funds and can distribute them to you for a fee.
The problem is, many of these companies are predatory in nature and may not be following the laws of Washington State with regards to Surplus Funds owed to you from a foreclosure sale. Under no circumstances should you sign away your rights to these funds without talking to an attorney first. Prior to 2023, Washington State has limited how much these companies can charge for these services which was up to 5% of the total surplus funds per RCW 63.29.350, (a law that is effective until 2023) Companies that violate the surplus funds from foreclosure law could have found themselves in big trouble facing a misdemeanor and could have been fined not less than the amount of the fee or charge he or she has sought or received or contracted for, and not more than ten times such amount, or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both. In 2023 the revised Washington State Unclaimed Property Act will go into effect replacing RCW 63.29.350 and generally looks at weather the fees being charged are unconscionable or not and does include and attorney exemption from the law to pursue claims of recovery.
If you do need assistance with obtaining your surplus funds after a foreclosure sale in Washington State you should talk to an attorney who can assist you for a reasonable hourly or flat fee for their time in addition to the costs that may also be incurred.
How Do I Get Surplus Funds after a Foreclosure Sale in Washington State?
Now that you know you may have surplus funds after a foreclosure sale, you should contact the Superior Court where your property was foreclosed upon or contact a surplus funds recovery attorney in Washington State who may be able to help you for a reasonable fee.
Once the Surplus Funds are deposited with the superior court, parties with an interest in those funds may claim them in a specified order. “Interests in, or liens or claims of liens against the property” at issue attach to the Surplus Funds “in the order of priority that it had attached to the property”. RCW 61.24.080(3).
Where Surplus Funds remain after payment of all junior lien holders, the owner of record at the time of the trustee’s sale may assert a claim in such Surplus Funds. See also RCW 61.12.150 (providing for disbursement of Surplus Funds following a judicial foreclosure).
A request for disbursement of Surplus Funds may be made at any time after the trustee’s sale, upon 20 days’ notice, by a written motion and a hearing in the superior court for the county in which the Surplus Funds were deposited. See RCW 61.24.080(3); RCW 61.12.150.
The costs involved whether you hire a surplus recovery attorney or not, associated with the release of Surplus funds include
(a) A filing fee that ranges between $20 and $35, depending on the county
(b) The cost of mailing the motion pleadings to each party for service (Estimated $10 per party).
(c) If you require documents from the court related to the motion or trustee’s sale, there may additional costs associated with such copies. At current postage rates, and assuming between 5-20 notice parties, the total costs associated with a pro se application for the release of Surplus funds are estimated at $75 to $225.
What Complications Might Could Happen After Requesting Surplus Funds after a Foreclosure Sale in Washington State?
If there were several owners of property or you had various liens on the property that were not paid when your home was foreclosed, they may oppose your motion to distribute the surplus funds to you. For example, if you had an ex-spouse who you owned the foreclosed property with in equal shares when it was foreclosed and you go to requested the surplus funds, your ex-spouse may oppose your motion and litigation may ensue.
Third party creditors who may have liens on the foreclosed property may also make a claim to the surplus funds. As discussed earlier, any motion filed to request the surplus funds from foreclosure, requires you to give notice to any party in interest who may have a claim to such funds, failure to put everybody on notice of your motion, may result in your motion being denied.
What If I have Surplus Funds After a Foreclosure Sale Related to Taxes Owed Due to County Taxes?
If you owned a property and it was foreclosed upon due to your failure to pay county taxes, you will likely receive a notice that you have surplus funds that were deposited in the county where the foreclosure sale took place. Many counties in Washington State such as King, Pierce and Snohomish publish a list of properties that have surplus funds available and the procedure to obtain these funds may be different that filing a motion in a superior case. For instance, in Pierce county, a simple application is all that needs to be filed. Claimants who owned the property on the date of foreclosure will have up to 3 years to claim the surplus funds.
Call Today For A Free Consultation With a Surplus Funds Recovery Attorney at Symmes Law Group!
If you had a home foreclosed upon in Washington State and you believe you may have funds owed and need assistance recovering the funds, give Symmes Law Group a call at 206-682-7975 or contact us to get the counsel you need.