Evicting After Foreclosure–Avoid Procedural Technicalities

The successful bidder at foreclosure is generally entitled to possession twenty days following the foreclosure sale. If the occupants do not vacate, the party who purchased at the foreclosure auction must bring an eviction action against the occupants. Sometimes the former property owner will attempt to avoid eviction by claiming the foreclosure process was procedurally defective.

A Washington homeowner can defend against foreclosure by showing that the beneficiary of the deed of trust is not the holder of the note.[1]  An post-foreclosure eviction case in which the former owner made this argument recently went to the Washington Court of Appeals.[2]

The Court of Appeals ultimately ruled in favor of the new owner who had bid successfully at foreclosure. This was in part because the former owner who had been foreclosed upon failed to produce a copy of the note in the eviction case, or act to challenge the sale before foreclosure auction.

There are additional procedural steps that must be taken to successfully evict occupants after foreclosure, beyond those required in evictions generally. If not done correctly the post-foreclosure eviction may be dismissed by the court, causing additional expense and delay for the foreclosure purchaser.

If you purchased property at foreclosure and need to evict the occupants it is best to consult with an eviction attorney.

By eviction attorney Travis Scott Eller

[1] Bain v. Metropolitan Mortgage Group, Inc., 175 Wn.2d 83, 285 P.3d 34 (2012).

[2] Federal National Mortgage v. Ndiaye, ___ Wn.App. ____ (No. 32994-1-III  June 16, 2015).