Nevada continues to bare the brunt of the foreclosure storm, as many Nevada families struggle financially to meet their monthly mortgage obligations. All to often these struggles result in default and eventual loss of a family’s home to foreclosure. In an attempt to remedy this situation, the Nevada State Legislature has implemented the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program.
What is the foreclosure mediation program? The aim of this program is to facilitate modification of the terms of existing home loans to make them financially manageable for homeowners and still reasonably acceptable to lenders. To accomplish this, the program provides a forum that allows homeowners and lenders to discuss proposed loan modification terms in person with the assistance of a third-party neutral.
How do I participate in the foreclosure mediation program? Nevada’s mediation program applies to all owner-occupied residential properties that receive foreclosure notices on or after July 1, 2009. Upon receipt of this notice, the homeowner has 30 days to choose whether or not to participate in the program. The administrative cost of participation is $400, split equally between the homeowner and the lender. If the homeowner chooses to participate, the lender is obligated to participate. For the lender, minimum requirements include: (1) sending a representative with authority to modify the loan; (2) producing the original deed of trust and promissory note; and (3) acting in good faith. A lender that fails to fulfill these obligations may be precluded from proceeding with foreclosure or forced to start the process all over again.
Role of the Mediator and Counsel. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a third-party neutral (the mediator) facilitates communication between two disputing parties in an attempt to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. However, the mediator is not permitted to give legal advice to the parties. Thus, because neither the mediator nor the lender is looking out for your interests as a homeowner, it is important to seek the advice of a competent attorney to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of success.
Rod Woodbury can be reached at 933-0777 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.