SLOWLY FORGING AHEAD
The Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program has received more than 450 requests for mediation from homeowners who have received foreclosure notices and are seeking to hold onto their homes. (Total as of Aug. 13, reflecting requests since the program began on July 1)
Homeowners who receive foreclosure notices – technically Notices of Default and Election to Sell – have 30 days from the day they received their notice to seek mediation under the program that was created by the Nevada Legislature effective July 1, 2009.
“We have seen a wave of requests for mediation and the wave is getting larger,” said Verise Campbell, Foreclosure Mediation Program Manager. “This is what we expected. We knew, because of the mandated time frames, that it would take some time for the requests for mediation to come rolling in and for the program to come up to speed.”
In July, 4,205 foreclosure notices were recorded in Nevada. That was down from the monthly average of about 7,600 and well below the more than 11,000 filed in June. In addition to the owner-occupied homes eligible for the Foreclosure Mediation Program, the foreclosure notices include commercial properties and residential housing not occupied by the owners.
No mediations have been scheduled yet, according to Ms. Campbell, because the first group of mediators received training on Aug. 5-7 and the formal process of appointing the mediators has not been completed.
While more than 450 homeowners have indicated they want to mediate their foreclosure issues, only about 50 cases are close to being scheduled. That is because the lenders involved in the majority of cases have yet to complete their required portion of the process.
In the process, homeowners must submit their election of mediation form along with a $200 fee to their lenders within 30 days of receiving foreclosure notices. The lenders then forward the request and the homeowner’s funds, along with the lender’s $200 payment and other documents, to the Foreclosure Mediation Program.
Once all submissions are in, cases will be assigned to mediators within 10 days and mediations will be scheduled within 80 days of the date the foreclosure notice was recorded.
“Because our mediators currently do not have a backlog of cases, I anticipate we will be able to schedule some mediation sessions very quickly,” Ms. Campbell said. “That will not always be the case. Once the program picks up speed, we are expecting that mediators will conduct between 1,000 and 1,500 mediations a month.”