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Washington Fed. v. Harvey

Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc

January 8, 2015

Washington Federal, Respondent ,
v.
Lance Harvey et al., Petitioners . Washington Federal, Respondent ,
v.
Kendall Gentry et al., Petitioners

Argued November 18, 2014

Appeal from Snohomish County Superior Court. 12-2-02123-4. Honorable Eric Z. Lucas.

Dean A. Messmer (of Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson PLLC ); and Christopher I. Brain and Adrienne McEntee (of Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC ), for petitioners.

Gregory R. Fox and Ryan P. McBride (of Lane Powell PC ), for respondent.

Margaret Y. Archer, Jessica C. Tsao, and J. Thomas Richardson on behalf of Scott Edwards, Granville Brinkman, and F.R. McAbee, Inc., amici curiae.

Averil B. Rothrock and Matthew Turetsky on behalf of Union Bank, amicus curiae.

Peter J. Mucklestone on behalf of Washington Bankers Association, amicus curiae.

WE CONCUR: Chief Justice Barbara A. Madsen, Justice Charles W. Johnson, Justice Susan Owens, Justice Mary E. Fairhurst, Justice Debra L. Stephens, Justice Charles K. Wiggins, Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Justice Mary I. Yu.

OPINION

Steven C. González, J.

[182 Wn.2d 336] [¶ 1] Washington's deeds of trust act (DTA), chapter 61.24 RCW, balances the interests of borrowers and lenders. It provides a comparatively inexpensive mechanism for lenders to foreclose on real property pledged to [182 Wn.2d 337] secure

Page 847

a debt through nonjudicial foreclosure, [1] making certain types of loans easier for borrowers to obtain because lenders have faster recourse if the loan is not repaid. In exchange, generally, the act limits the recovery of those benefiting from a nonjudicial foreclosure to whatever is recouped from that foreclosure. It does not, generally, also allow the lender to pursue a deficiency judgment against the borrower; once the lender chooses nonjudicial foreclosure, it must be satisfied with what it gets. Today, in the consolidated cases before us, we must decide whether guarantors of commercial loans whose own property has not been foreclosed are protected from deficiency judgments under the DTA after the borrower's property has been foreclosed. We find they are not.

Facts

Wash. Fed. v. Harvey


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