In order for a homeowner to be eligible to participate in the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program, the homeowner must occupy the home. No court has officially defined occupancy in the context of foreclosure mediation, and we are not aware of a multi-pronged test. But common sense seems to prevail in practice.
The following are some examples of evidence used to determine whether or not a homeowner occupies the home:
– Address on driver’s license
– NV Energy bill, whose name is it in, how much did they charge last month (should be a lot if it is summer)
– Address on last years tax return
– The presence or absence of a tenant
– Homeowner’s statements about how often they stay at the home
– Is there a forwarding address?
– Is mail being returned?
– What address does the homeowner offer as her mailing address?
– Does the homeowner have another place to stay?
– Names and addresses on other utility bills including telephone (are utility bills being sent to another address?)
The lender’s rep can refuse to proceed with the mediation if they believe the house is not occupied by the homeowner. Likewise, the mediator can determine the house is not occupied and cancel the mediation. The homeowner is required to “prove” occupancy under the penalty of perjury. The homeowner’s recourse for a cancelled mediation based on non-occupancy is to file a petition with the court and let the judge decide.