New Nevada Foreclosure Law Offers Hope To Homeowners
Since the economic collapse of 2008, Nevada has been at the top, or near the top, of the list of states with the highest frequency of foreclosures. However, a new law is giving the state hope that it will soon be able to shed that dubious distinction.
The Nevada Homeowner's Bill of Rights (Senate Bill 321) went into effect on October 1st, 2013. Since the bill's passage, the state has seen a sharp decline in the number of foreclosures. A recent report shows that in October 2013, 1 in every 407 Nevada homes were involved in a foreclosure filing of some kind. This rate, though still high, is down almost 40% from September's figures.
What explains this dramatic drop during the short time the bill has been in effect? The drop in foreclosure rates is due, in large part, to the bill's effort to curb many unsavory and unethical practices of lenders that prevented many homeowners from being able to negotiate a deal to avoid foreclosure.
Specifically, the Nevada Homeowner's Bill of Rights increases the transparency of the dealings between lenders and homeowners and places on lenders heightened burdens of communication.
Some of the new requirements for lenders under the new law include requiring the lender to appoint a single point of contact to each homeowner facing foreclosure. This requirement helps to eliminate the frustration homeowners experienced at having to explain their unique circumstances and concerns to different representatives each time the homeowner made contact with his or her lender.
Additionally, the point of contact is required to counsel the homeowner on foreclosure prevention alternatives and is required to keep the homeowner apprised about the status of any pending paperwork and other administrative matters.
Keeping Lenders Accountable
Not only does the Nevada Homeowner's Bill of Rights increase the obligation of lenders to communicate and work with homeowners to avoid foreclosure, the new law also holds the lenders accountable to this higher standard by creating a cause of action for any homeowner who has been subject to a lender in violation of the new Bill of Rights.
Under the Homeowner's Bill of Rights, a homeowner may sue their lender for violations of the law. If a homeowner's lender has violated the new law, the homeowner may be entitled to have the foreclosure proceeding suspended if the proceeding is still in progress. Or, if the foreclosure has already been completed, the homeowner may be entitled to monetary damages as compensation for the lender's violation.
The new law marks a significant and important shift towards more transparency in the foreclosure process. While it remains to be seen whether the Homeowner's Bill of Rights will put a substantial dent in the number of Nevada foreclosures over time, the law certainly takes a step in the right direction.
It is important to note that if you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, you are not without options. Whether through bankruptcy, a debt settlement, or the new rights granted under the Homeowner's bill of rights, you are not without options. Though facing foreclosure may feel hopeless, it is possible to keep your home.
Contact the Nevada Bankruptcy attorneys at 702-DEFENSE to discuss the unique circumstances of your case today.