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Court Rules Nationstar Mortgage is Liable for Pre-Foreclosure Lock Outs

January 11, 2018

Along with Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn & Aylward and Daudt Law, TMLG represents a certified class of thousands of homeowners locked out of their homes by Nationstar Mortgage, LLC. In 2016, the Washington Supreme Court held that it is illegal for a lender or mortgage servicer like Nationstar to change the locks on a borrower’s home prior to foreclosure. Building on that ruling, a federal district court ruled that illegal lock changes are a trespass and violate the Washington Consumer Protection Act. The court ruled that homeowners whose locks were changed before foreclosure can recover damages, including the value of their destroyed lock and the fair market rental value of their home during the time that they were improperly locked out.

The district court’s summary judgment ruling sets an important precedent, establishing that lenders and mortgage servicers can be held liable for changing the locks on Washington homeowners prior to foreclosure.

A copy of the district court’s summary judgment order is here.

A copy of the Washington State Supreme Court’s 2016 opinion is here.