Hearings on Bank REO Properties Mediation Set
The Nevada Supreme Court has scheduled hearings and sought public comments on a mediation program to help homeowners protect their homes from turning into bank REO properties. This mediation program is part of Nevada’s effort to reduce its foreclosure rate which skyrocketed last month.
The Foreclosure Mediation Program in Nevada is now making progress as the state Supreme Court scheduled hearings and sought public comments.
The program comes at a time when Nevada was ranked as the state with the highest foreclosure rate in May. In Washoe County, the number of bank REO properties surged by 18 percent last month compared with figures in April.
Chief Justice James Hardesty believes that the mediation program and the law that gave birth to the foreclosure prevention effort are going to help thousands of homeowners save their homes and provide relief to some lenders. He pointed out that many residents in the state are seeing their homes turned into bank REO properties.
One of the major sponsors of the Assembly Bill 149, Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie said that the legislation will make sure that access will be provided to homeowners to negotiate with their lenders to try to work out efficient and effective solutions to the foreclosure problem.
She added that everybody wins if bank REO properties can be avoided, particularly the homeowners, lenders and communities. Under the Assembly Bill, distressed homeowners, who received notices of foreclosures not later than July 1 may request for mediation meetings and discussions with their lenders.
The meetings will be supervised by a hearing master, senior judge or other designee. The mediation program covers only houses that are owner-occupied.
Under the bill, mortgage lenders or servicers are required to join and provide a notice of default and contact information of the individual who is authorized to negotiate the modification of a loan.
Meanwhile, the bill specifically noted that no further action shall be made to sell the property until such time when the mediation has been completed. Furthermore, if a representative or trustee failed to join the mediation or did not provide the required documents, he might be sanctioned, including a loan modification approved and ordered by the court.
Hardesty expected that the statewide mediation program would handle up to 1,500 cases monthly. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is seeking public comment on the draft guidelines of its mediation process rules.
Nevadans have until June 22 for sending comments regarding the foreclosure mediation program.
The draft rules are scheduled for two public hearings, while voting will be held by justices about the new rules on how to avoid bank REO properties on June 29.
By Cassiano Travareli