Wave of Bank Foreclosure Property Mediation Requests Expected
Nevada courts are preparing for a flood of bank foreclosure property mediation requests. State Chief Justice James Hardesty is expecting as many as 1,500 mediation requests per month.
Nevada Chief Justice James Hardesty is concerned about the flood of bank foreclosure property mediation requests that courts will have to handle in the coming months. He expects as many as 1,500 requests for mediation each month.
Already, the courts are preparing for the possibility that they would be deluge with requests for foreclosure prevention mediation after the Nevada Supreme Court held the first public hearing. The Supreme Court created the rules for foreclosure mediation sessions in the state.
Under the law, a distressed homeowner who is a recipient of notices of default has the option to request for a chance to talk with the lender to explore possible ways to reach a mutually agreeable resolution on the bank foreclosure property problem. A trained mediator will be present to help in the negotiation between the troubled homeowner and the lender.
Justice Mark Gibbons has called on lending institutions and banks to be flexible and to make the foreclosure mediation program a success. He pointed out that one troubled homeowner’s case is unique from the other. He suggested to lenders to consider providing short-term refinancing so that homeowners could wade through the economic crisis.
Meanwhile, Hardesty explained that the bank foreclosure property mediation law does not cover existing foreclosures, meaning homeowners who received notices before July 1 of this year do not have the option to request for foreclosure prevention mediation.
However, he said that as soon as mediators were able to manage their expected caseloads, the Supreme Court may take actions to start the process of voluntary mediation for homeowners who received notices before July 1.
Under the mediation rules, lenders and distressed homeowners will both shoulder the fees of mediators, with a maximum assessment of $200 to each involved party. The Supreme Court is expected to adopt the mediation rules on June 29.
The court plans to locate the mediation sessions in Las Vegas and a director will be hired to manage the mediation program. Already, there are 19 pending applications for the position of director of the mediation program.
The initial mediation sessions will be handled by settlement judges and senior judges. So far over 350 lawyers have signified their interest to serve as mediators.
A second public hearing for the bank foreclosure property mediation is scheduled on June 26, 2009 in Las Vegas, with the first mediation session expected in August.
By Cassiano Travareli