SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5408
State of Washington
2021 Regular Session
BySenate Law & Justice (originally sponsored by Senators Stanford, Das, Dhingra, Hasegawa, Kuderer, Lovelett, Nguyen, Randall, Robinson, Rolfes, Saldaña, and Wellman)
READ FIRST TIME 02/15/21.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature finds that the homestead exemption is intended to protect the homeowner's equity in a home against unsecured creditors. The legislature finds that changes to the homestead exemption are necessary to modernize the law and to address the case of Wilson v. Rigby, 909 F.3d 306 (2018), to adopt the reasoning in In re Good, 588 B.R. 573 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. 2018), and to overturn In re Bankr. Petition of Wieber, 182 Wn.2d 919 (2015).
and 1999 c 403 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The homestead consists of real or personal property that the owner or a dependent of the owner uses as a residence. In the case of a dwelling house or mobile home, the homestead consists of the dwelling house or the mobile home in which the owner resides or intends to reside, with appurtenant buildings, and the land on which the same are situated and by which the same are surrounded, or improved or unimproved land, regardless of area, owned with the intention of placing a house or mobile home thereon and residing thereon. A mobile home may be exempted under this chapter whether or not it is permanently affixed to the underlying land and whether or not the mobile home is placed upon a lot owned by the mobile home owner or a dependent of the owner. Property included in the homestead must be actually intended or used as the principal home for the owner.
(2) As used in this chapter((, the term "owner")):
(a) "Owner" includes but is not limited to a purchaser under a deed of trust, mortgage, or real estate contract.
(((3) As used in this chapter, the term "net))(b) "Net value" means market value less all liens and encumbrances senior to the judgment being executed upon and not including the judgment being executed upon.
(c) "Forced sale" includes any sale of homestead property in a bankruptcy proceeding under Title 11 of the United States Code. The reinvestment provisions of RCW 6.13.070 do not apply to the proceeds.
(d) "Dependent" has the meaning given in Title 11 U.S.C. Sec. 522(a)(1).
and 2007 c 429 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
((A homestead may consist of lands, as described in RCW 6.13.010, regardless of area, but the homestead exemption amount shall not exceed the lesser of (1) the total net value of the lands, manufactured homes, mobile home, improvements, and other personal property, as described in RCW 6.13.010, or (2) the sum of one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars in the case of lands, manufactured homes, mobile home, and improvements, or the sum of fifteen thousand dollars in the case of other personal property described in RCW 6.13.010, except where
))(1) The homestead exemption amount is the greater of:
(b) The county median sale price of a single-family home in the preceding calendar year; or
(c) Where the homestead is subject to execution, attachment, or seizure by or under any legal process whatever to satisfy a judgment in favor of any state for failure to pay that state's income tax on benefits received while a resident of the state of Washington from a pension or other retirement plan, ((in which event there shall be)) no dollar limit ((on the value of the exemption)).
(2) In determining the county median sale price of a single-family home in the preceding year, a court may use data from the Runstad department of real estate at the University of Washington or any other research relied upon by the office of financial management or department of licensing.
and 1987 c 442 s 207 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Except as provided in RCW 6.13.080
, the homestead is exempt from attachment and from execution or forced sale for the debts of the owner up to the amount specified in RCW 6.13.030
(2) In a bankruptcy case, the debtor's exemption shall be determined on the date the bankruptcy petition is filed. If the value of the debtor's interest in homestead property on the petition date is less than or equal to the amount that can be exempted under RCW 6.13.030, then the debtor's entire interest in the property, including the debtor's right to possession and interests of no monetary value, is exempt. Any appreciation in the value of the debtor's exempt interest in the property during the bankruptcy case is also exempt, even if in excess of the amounts in RCW 6.13.030(1). (3)
The proceeds of the voluntary sale of the homestead in good faith for the purpose of acquiring a new homestead, and proceeds from insurance covering destruction of homestead property held for use in restoring or replacing the homestead property, up to the amount specified in RCW 6.13.030
, shall likewise be exempt for one year from receipt, and also such new homestead acquired with such proceeds.
(((2)))(4) Every homestead created under this chapter is presumed to be valid to the extent of all the property claimed exempt, until the validity thereof is contested in a court of general jurisdiction in the county or district in which the homestead is situated.
and 2007 c 429 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
A judgment against the owner of a homestead shall become a lien on the value of the homestead property in excess of the homestead exemption from the time the judgment creditor records the judgment with the recording officer of the county where the property is located. However, if a judgment of a district court of this state has been transferred to a superior court, the judgment becomes a lien from the time of recording with such recording officer a duly certified abstract of the record of such judgment as it appears in the office of the clerk in which the transfer was originally filed. A department of revenue tax warrant filed pursuant to RCW 82.32.210
shall become a lien on the value of the homestead property in excess of the homestead exemption from the time of filing in superior court.
(2) In the context of a bankruptcy case, the homestead exemption defined in this chapter is intended to apply to Washington residents to the extent that they move or purchase a replacement homestead in a different state. This section specifically allows the former Washington domiciliary to choose Washington exemptions when they relocate to another state. It does not prohibit an extraterritorial application and applies to property located in other states in the context of a claim of exemptions under the United States bankruptcy code.
and 1998 c 295 s 12 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Except to the extent permitted in this section for deeds of trust securing commercial loans, a deficiency judgment shall not be obtained on the obligations secured by a deed of trust against any borrower, grantor, or guarantor after a trustee's sale under that deed of trust.
(2)(a) Nothing in this chapter precludes an action against any person liable on the obligations secured by a deed of trust or any guarantor prior to a notice of trustee's sale being given pursuant to this chapter or after the discontinuance of the trustee's sale.
(b) No action under (a) of this subsection precludes the beneficiary from commencing a judicial foreclosure or trustee's sale under the deed of trust after the completion or dismissal of that action.
(3) This chapter does not preclude any one or more of the following after a trustee's sale under a deed of trust securing a commercial loan executed after June 11, 1998:
(a)(i) To the extent the fair value of the property sold at the trustee's sale to the beneficiary or an affiliate of the beneficiary is less than the unpaid obligation secured by the deed of trust immediately prior to the trustee's sale, an action for a deficiency judgment against the borrower or grantor, if such person or persons was timely given the notices under RCW 61.24.040
, for (A) any decrease in the fair value of the property caused by waste to the property committed by the borrower or grantor, respectively, after the deed of trust is granted, and (B) the wrongful retention of any rents, insurance proceeds, or condemnation awards by the borrower or grantor, respectively, that are otherwise owed to the beneficiary.
(ii) This subsection (3)(a) does not apply to any property that is occupied by the borrower as its principal residence as of the date of the trustee's sale;
(b) Any judicial or nonjudicial foreclosures of any other deeds of trust, mortgages, security agreements, or other security interests or liens covering any real or personal property granted to secure the obligation that was secured by the deed of trust foreclosed; or
(c) Subject to this section, an action for a deficiency judgment against a guarantor if the guarantor is timely given the notices under RCW 61.24.042
(4) Any action referred to in subsection (3)(a) and (c) of this section shall be commenced within one year after the date of the trustee's sale, or a later date to which the liable party otherwise agrees in writing with the beneficiary after the notice of foreclosure is given, plus any period during which the action is prohibited by a bankruptcy, insolvency, moratorium, or other similar debtor protection statute. If there occurs more than one trustee's sale under a deed of trust securing a commercial loan or if trustee's sales are made pursuant to two or more deeds of trust securing the same commercial loan, the one-year limitation in this section begins on the date of the last of those trustee's sales.
(5) In any action against a guarantor following a trustee's sale under a deed of trust securing a commercial loan, the guarantor may request the court or other appropriate adjudicator to determine, or the court or other appropriate adjudicator may in its discretion determine, the fair value of the property sold at the sale and the deficiency judgment against the guarantor shall be for an amount equal to the sum of the total amount owed to the beneficiary by the guarantor as of the date of the trustee's sale, less the fair value of the property sold at the trustee's sale or the sale price paid at the trustee's sale, whichever is greater, plus interest on the amount of the deficiency from the date of the trustee's sale at the rate provided in the guaranty, the deed of trust, or in any other contracts evidencing the debt secured by the deed of trust, as applicable, and any costs, expenses, and fees that are provided for in any contract evidencing the guarantor's liability for such a judgment. If any other security is sold to satisfy the same debt prior to the entry of a deficiency judgment against the guarantor, the fair value of that security, as calculated in the manner applicable to the property sold at the trustee's sale, shall be added to the fair value of the property sold at the trustee's sale as of the date that additional security is foreclosed. This section is in lieu of any right any guarantor would otherwise have to establish an upset price pursuant to RCW 61.12.060
prior to a trustee's sale.
(6) A guarantor granting a deed of trust to secure its guaranty of a commercial loan shall be subject to a deficiency judgment following a trustee's sale under that deed of trust only to the extent stated in subsection (3)(a)(i) of this section. If the deed of trust encumbers the guarantor's principal residence, the guarantor shall be entitled to receive an amount up to ((the homestead exemption set forth in RCW 6.13.030
, without regard to the effect of RCW 6.13.080
(2), from the bid at the foreclosure or trustee's sale accepted by the sheriff or trustee prior to the application of the bid to the guarantor's obligation.
(7) A beneficiary's acceptance of a deed in lieu of a trustee's sale under a deed of trust securing a commercial loan exonerates the guarantor from any liability for the debt secured thereby except to the extent the guarantor otherwise agrees as part of the deed in lieu transaction.
(8) This chapter does not preclude a beneficiary from foreclosing a deed of trust in the same manner as a real property mortgage and this section does not apply to such a foreclosure.
(9) Any contract, note, deed of trust, or guaranty may, by its express language, prohibit the recovery of any portion or all of a deficiency after the property encumbered by the deed of trust securing a commercial loan is sold at a trustee's sale.
(10) A trustee's sale under a deed of trust securing a commercial loan does not preclude an action to collect or enforce any obligation of a borrower or guarantor if that obligation, or the substantial equivalent of that obligation, was not secured by the deed of trust.
(11) Unless the guarantor otherwise agrees, a trustee's sale shall not impair any right or agreement of a guarantor to be reimbursed by a borrower or grantor for a deficiency judgment against the guarantor.
(12) Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, the rights and obligations of any borrower, grantor, and guarantor following a trustee's sale under a deed of trust securing a commercial loan or any guaranty of such a loan executed prior to June 11, 1998, shall be determined in accordance with the laws existing prior to June 11, 1998.
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