Homeowners who survived the Great Recession of 2008 learned first-hand what happens when our economy tanks: millions of jobs vanish, retirement savings are depleted and real estate values plummet. During this time, hardworking Americans not only found themselves suddenly unemployed, but unable to make the mortgage payments on their own homes. Nevada was no exception.
In response, our Nevada Supreme Court created the Foreclosure Mediation Program (FMP) in 2009. The program was designed to help those in default on their home mortgage payments due to loss of employment or other serious financial hardship. The primary goal of the program was to bring homeowners and lenders together to work out a mutually agreeable solution to avoid a foreclosure. Some options included loan modifications, refinancing, short sales, “cash for keys” and temporary forebearance of mortgage payments. If the parties were unable to agree, the lender sold the home without ever stepping foot in a courtroom. Here’s how it works:
A homeowner that has fallen behind on the mortgage payments can apply for assistance once a Notice of Default is recorded. The homeowner must act quickly by filing a Petition for Foreclosure Mediation Assistance in the District Court in the county where the property is located within 30 days after service of the Notice of Default or within 21 days after service of the Complaint for Judicial Foreclosure. The Petition begins the mediation period and temporarily stays the normal foreclosure process set forth under Nevada law.
Over the years, the FMP rules have been modified and statutes governing foreclosure have been amended through legislation. Although the recession crisis has passed, the program is still going strong and currently managed by Home Means Nevada, a nonprofit entity established by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry. You can access their website at: http://homemnv.org. Another great online resource is the Civil Law Self-Help Center’s website at: Foreclosure Mediation – Civil Law Self-Help Center (civillawselfhelpcenter.org)
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