In October 2011, following the burst of the real estate bubble and as a result of the robo-signing debacle which caused foreclosures to occur illegally, the State of Nevada passed assembly bill 284 AB 284 required lender representatives to sign affidavits swearing that all foreclosure documentation was personally inspected for accuracy in order to avoid legal action. Due to the bundling process that gathered loans from around the US, it was almost impossible for any lender representative to inspect and confirm accuracy on all foreclosure documents. As a result, foreclosures in Las Vegas came to a standstill. Many people were able to stay in their homes long past what could ever be imagined but homes were also abandoned and lost value which caused underwater mortgages to become commonplace.
Effective October 1, 2013, Senate Bill 321, also known as the homeowner’s bill of rights became law in Nevada. SB 321 requires lenders to provide all home loan borrowers a single point of contact and allows homes using short sales to be sold to relatives and friends of borrowers. Prior to SB 321, short sales which are lender approved sales permitting the property to be sold for less than what is owed to the lender required a documented arm’s length transaction which prevented borrowers from benefiting from the short sale. It also prevented borrowers from trying to do their best to salvage what they could from a very bad situation. Additionally, the same borrower is allowed to buy back the original home at a lower price because of the short sale.
Now that SB 321 is law and rules governing lender behavior and protecting homeowners is clearer, foreclosures are being filed in massive quantities and the real estate market is beginning to correct itself. The huge increase in foreclosures due to the passage of SB 321 is good news. Home buyers and sellers interested in selling or buying and taking advantage of this activity will benefit from Realtors who have a good understanding of this process.
Today, a lender taking action to foreclose on a home loan must first notify the borrower by submitting a 30 day notice that a notice of default which is the first official step in the foreclosure process is going to be filed within 30 days. The borrower is also advised that an application to modify the loan or a short sale will be reviewed during this time. If, during the 30 day period, the request to modify the loan or the short sale amount is denied, the borrower is given another 30 days to seek out a solution.
For homeowners who have experienced default but still own and occupy their homes, this is a new development that may permit continued home ownership. SB 321 has clarified the foreclosure and default issues for both lenders and homeowners in Las Vegas. Now that there is a clear path forward, the clock is ticking. To find out if you have equity in your home or if you are facing a short sale, call or contact Jill Batchelor with the Batchelor Group 702-823-3801 or www.LasVegas1RealEstate.com for more information and a new plan of action.