Judicial Foreclosures

Madeleine Jones
September 27, 2013

In Nevada, lenders have two options for foreclosure. They can file a non-judicial foreclosure by filing a Notice of Default with the county recorder and posting the notice on your door, or they can file a lawsuit to foreclose which is called a judicial foreclosure.  It is important to understand the difference between the two because judicial foreclosures can happen much faster than non-judicial.  When the lender files a judicial foreclosure, they file a lawsuit in the district court where the property is situated and they must serve you like any other lawsuit.  Once you are served with the lawsuit you only have 20 days to respond.  This is very different from non-judicial foreclosure where you have 30 days to elect mediation and the lender cannot file to foreclose for at least 90 days.  If you do not respond to the lawsuit within that 20 day window, the lender may get a default judgment against you and you could lose your home. 

Even though you only have 20 days to respond in a judicial foreclosure, that does not mean you have no options.  Generally, the lender will continue to work with you on a loan modification or a short sale so long as you communicate your intentions with the attorney representing the lender.  It is strongly suggested that you retain an attorney to assist if you find yourself in a judicial foreclosure.  There are many rules and procedures that must be followed carefully or a judge could rule for the lender quickly.

Once you state your intention to the attorney for the lender, they will usually indicate whether they will allow a review for a short sale or loan modification.  In very rare instances, the lender will state that they wish to foreclose.  In that case, an Answer will be required to be filed in court and the case will proceed like most legal cases.

There is a new law that helps homeowners however and it allows the homeowner to enter into the state of Nevada foreclosure mediation program for any judicial foreclosure filed after October 1, 2013.  Prior to this new law mediation was not available for judicial foreclosures.

Judicial foreclosures can be overwhelming to deal with but it is critical to get an attorney involved as soon as you are served with the lawsuit to ensure you are protected and so you can do everything possible to avoid foreclosure.


If you have questions about this topic or if you are in need of aggressive, courteous representation, contact Cogburn Law Offices today. We can help.