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NV Mandatory Mediation Program for Homeowners in Foreclosure

By Kathryn Bovard

mediationThe mandatory mediation program will have an impact on our market as 80% of all home sales in Las Vegas are foreclosed homes. I think one of the most clear and concise explanation of this new federal law is written by a local attorney who specializes  in real estate law, Robert Noggle. He has graciously contributed the following article.

A new Nevada law allowing any homeowner receiving a notice of default from their lender to request mandatory mediation with that lender becomes effective on July 1st.

The purpose of the mediation program is to avoid a foreclosure by providing a forum for home owner and lender to negotiate a loan modification including a short sale.

The most important development is that the lender must be represented at the mediation hearing by a representative who has authority to modify the loan or who has telephone access to someone with such authority.  The lender’s failure to do so may result in the mediator modifying the loan.  Proposed court rules for the program allow a lender to participate by telephone if approved by the mediator.

The mediation is nonbinding.  The lender retains complete discretion as to whether to modify the loan and, if so, on what terms.  However, a trustee’s sale of the home may not occur until the mediation is completed.  The trustee’s sale is the final step in the foreclosure process.  As a general practice the lender makes the winning bid at the sale and becomes the owner of the home.

The cost of the mediation is $400 divided equally between the homeowner and the lender. According to the proposed rules the maximum period of time allotted to a mediation session is four hours.  The homeowner must provide a financial statement together with a Housing Affordability Worksheet.  The lender must provide a certified copy or original of the Deed of Trust and promissory note together with a copy of each assignment of the note and deed of trust.

The lender’s failure to provide the required documents may result in sanctions. The lender may also provide an estimate of the short sale value of the property if the loan cannot be modified.

Under the proposed rules the mediation must take place within 90 days of the filing of the notice of default. By law the foreclosure process can take no less than 111 days from the filing of the notice of  default to the sale.  The mediation program is mandatory at the homeowner’s request if the Notice of Default was filed July 1 or thereafter.  The parties may stipulate to mediation if the notice of default was recorded prior to July 1.

Final mediation rules will be issued in the near future.  However, as a new program there are many unanswered questions as to how effective the program will be.  Whether lenders will participate in good faith to avoid foreclosures is unknown.

Based upon cases from around the country a lender’s ability to provide the necessary documentation including copies of all assignments could be a serious challenge for them.  For the homeowner the ability to present a case for a loan modification will depend upon their ability to make their numbers work so as to persuade the lender of their ability to make future modified payments.

By: Robert B. Noggle, Attorney
Black & LoBello

Robert B. Noggle may be contacted at (702) 869-8801 or rnoggle@blacklobellolaw.com.  For more information visit www.blacklobellolaw.com

Related posts:

  1. Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program Information and Help
  2. LV Foreclosure & Real Estate Market News
  3. HAFA Series Part 1 – What is the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program?

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