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Real Estate & Property Law

: Seattle Landlord-Tenant Attorney

New Law Protects Foreclosure Scam Victims

By Scott Eller, Esq.

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A new law addressing distressed property transactions went into effect June 12, 2008. The new law defines a distressed home as one that is in danger of foreclosure or in the process of foreclosure.

A ?Distressed home conveyance” means a transaction in which:

(a) A distressed homeowner transfers an interest in the distressed home to a distressed home purchaser;

(b) The distressed home purchaser allows the distressed homeowner to occupy the distressed home; and

(c) The distressed home purchaser or a person acting in participation with the distressed home purchaser conveys or promises to convey the distressed home to the distressed homeowner, provides the distressed homeowner with an option to purchase the distressed home at a later date, or promises the distressed homeowner an interest in, or portion of, the proceeds of any resale of the distressed home.

The law adds a new section to the Residential Landlord Tenant Act. In an eviction action involving a distressed home the landlord is required to disclose to the court whether the defendant previously held title.

Also the court may not require the defendant to ?escrow any money pending trial when a material question of fact exists as to whether the landlord acquired title from the defendant directly or indirectly through a distressed home conveyance?.

The new section also states that ?[t]here must be both an automatic stay of the action and a consolidation of the action with a pending or subsequent quiet title action when a defendant claims that the landlord acquired title to the property through a distressed home conveyance.?

In addition to protection from eviction, the new law creates a private right of action entitling the defendant to attorney?s fees and punitive damages of up to one hundred thousand dollars.

If you sold your home to save it from foreclosure you have important legal right. You should consult with an attorney ? especially if you are being threatened with eviction.

Full post as published by Seattle Landlord-Tenant Attorney on June 15, 2008 (boomark / email).

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