Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Are Now Automatically Enrolled in Mediation
According to RealtyTrac.com, Nevada has the highest rate of foreclosures at 41%. The second highest state, Florida, has an average foreclosure rate of 25%. In response to this crisis, the Nevada legislature changed the foreclosure mediation laws for homeowners facing foreclosure effective October 1, 2013.
Assembly Bill 273 changed the State of Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program (FMP) from requiring homeowners facing foreclosure to elect to go to mediation to automatically enrolling homeowners upon the filing of the Notice of Default (NOD) with the County Recorder’s Office. The lender must send two notices to homeowners after filing the NOD. The notices must contain information about the NOD and the FMP. The first notice is to be sent by registered or certified mail. The second notice is to be sent by first class mail. But both notices must contain the same information.
Foreclosure mediation is a process meant to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The homeowner and a representative of the lender sit with a third-party, neutral mediator to discuss alternatives to foreclosure. Typically both sides will have legal representation present as well. The homeowner’s financial situation is discussed to determine the alternatives available for the homeowner. Alternatives to foreclosure include a loan modification, a forbearance agreement, a short sale, or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
In order to fully participate in the mediation, the homeowner is required to provide financial documentation prior to the mediation so that the lender can determine what loss mitigation option the homeowner is eligible for. The lender’s representative who attends the mediation must have the authority to modify the loan. This ensures that if the homeowners have provided all the necessary financial documentation, then the lender’s representative can inform the homeowner at the mediation of all options.
The FMP is not free. Upon receiving the notice of the NOD, the homeowner is required to send a $200 money order or cashier’s check to the FMP within 30 days. If the FMP does not receive the funds in a timely manner or the homeowner waives the right to mediation, then the FMP is required to provide a Certificate of foreclosure to the lender. When the lender receives the Certificate of foreclosure, the lender may proceed with the trustee’s sale.
The leg work to gather documentation and negotiate with the banks involves understanding your legal rights and options. At Cogburn Law Offices our attorneys are experienced in representing clients at foreclosure mediations. If you have any questions about this topic, or if you are in need of aggressive, courteous and professional representation, contact Cogburn Law Offices today. We can help.