SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit on Thursday against a foreclosure trustee corporation that allegedly engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices.
Foreclosure trustees are legally required to act in good faith as neutral parties between lenders and borrowers during foreclosure proceedings, Ferguson said. Cal-Western, a Washington-based foreclosure trustee conducting many of its operations in southern California, allegedly gave borrowers an incorrect phone number in their notices of trustee's sale and foreclosure. With no available websites, homeowners' were allegedly forced to drive or fly to the company's office.
Ferguson alleged more than 70 homeowners in King County alone received incorrect notices, which suggests many more homeowners may have been affected throughout the state. The lawsuit alleges Cal-Western's practices violated the Consumer Protection Act.
"Foreclosure trustees have a duty to treat homeowners fairly under the law," said Ferguson. "I will make sure that all parties involved in the foreclosure process, including trustees like Cal-Western, play by the rules."
Ferguson's office obtained a temporary restraining order against Cal-Western that will force the company to stop its allegedly unfair and deceptive business practices. The order places a moratorium on current Cal-Western foreclosures in Washington state and extends through May 29.
The lawsuit seeks restitution for homeowners, injunctive relief, civil penalties of as much as $2,000 per violation of the Consumer Protection Act and attorney costs.