Wife Not Named in Eviction


A husband and wife owned a home that was foreclosed. The wife moved out months prior to the foreclosure auction. The purchasers at the foreclosure auction served legal notices on the husband, but did not name the wife in the notices. The foreclosure purchasers served two notices—a “twenty-day” notice to vacate, and also a statutory notice all foreclosure purchasers are required to serve on occupants after a foreclosure auction.

The husband did not vacate the home. The foreclosure purchasers brought an eviction (unlawful detainer action) against the husband.  The husband argued that the notices served prior to the eviction lawsuit were defective because the foreclosure purchasers did not name the wife in the notices.

The trial court did not agree and ruled in favor of the foreclosure purchasers. The husband appealed.

The Court of Appeals held that the foreclosure purchasers were not required to serve the twenty-day notice. The Court also held that neither the twenty-day notice nor the post-foreclosure was defective. The Court ruled that the foreclosure purchasers were not required to name the wife in either notice because only actual occupants in possession need be named in such notices.[1]

Although the foreclosure purchasers prevailed, they had to go through the entire eviction process plus an appeal to do so.  Anyone considering an eviction action should consult with an attorney.

[1] Way v. Choquer, unpublished opinion (No. 48191-0-II December 27, 2016).