Bulletin: WA000023

Date:
February 01, 1991
To:
All Washington Agents
RE:
Abandonment of Real Estate Contracts

Dear Associates:

The Washington Court of Appeals has ruled that a real estate contract may be abandoned by a vendee who fails to make payments over a long period of time. It is not necessary in these cases for a vendor to institute either a nonjudicial or judicial contract forfeiture. Schoneman v. Wilson, 785 P.2d 845 (Wash. App. 1990).

In this case the vendee did not make payment between 1963 and 1986. In 1986 the vendor instituted nonjudicial forfeiture proceedings. The vendee reinstated when the vendor gave a Notice of Intent to Forfeit. The vendor rejected the reinstatement and sued to quiet title.

The court of appeals ruled that the Real Estate Contract Forfeiture Act is not the exclusive remedy of the vendor. Under the right circumstances a court may conclude that the contract has been "abandoned" by the vendee without the necessity of either nonjudicial or judicial forfeiture proceedings. Factors to be considered are the (1) lack of possession by the purchaser, (2) length of time the purchaser has been in default and (3) refusal of vendee to comply with the contract.

This case may be useful to us in clearing old real estate contracts when there has been no formal forfeiture. Please contact me in these situations.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
3.52 Contracts For Sale
Exceptions Manual:
WA Contracts for Sale
Forms:
None