House Approves Foreclosure Protection Bill

Legislation that would help struggling property owners in coops, homeowners associations (HOAs), condominium buildings, and other common interest communities was unanimously approved by the House this week.

As the state emerges from the COVID-19 shut-down Rep. Jim WalshR-Aberdeen, the prime sponsor of House Bill 1482, says a growing number of homeowners face liens for back due amounts to HOAs and other associations.

The 19th District lawmaker’s bill seeks to protect homeowners from foreclosure actions, while also giving them a way to catch up on their payments.

“We’ve all occasionally heard the horror stories in the media about individuals who end up losing a condo or a home in an HOA or condo over a trivial amount of money that’s in dispute. My bill gives homeowners some protection while they get current on payments in arrears,” said Walsh. 

House Bill 1482 would modify the Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act. It seeks to prevent foreclosure actions for past-due amounts unless the owner fails to repay the back due fees or payments within six months from the accrual date.

“Community associations aren’t set up to rake in cash; the fees collected often barely cover the association’s bills. My proposal strikes a balance between protecting people from getting kicked out of their homes, while still providing a clearly defined path so they get caught up on back due payments. It gives help and structure,” said Walsh. 

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

The 2021 legislative session began Jan. 11 and is scheduled to end April 25.