Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2021

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Nearly a third of lenders no-shows for foreclosure mediations

Barbara Buckley

Barbara Buckley

CARSON CITY — Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley says she’s anxious to see more sanctions imposed by the courts on lenders who boycott the fledgling foreclosure mediation program aimed at saving homes for Nevadans.

The program Friday released the first-year results showing that 29 percent of lenders did not appear for mediation sessions, had no authority to make a deal or did not bring all the documentation required.

Nevada has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation, and 11,716 people applied for the state program to get a chance to meet with their lender to work something out with a mediator present.

The program, created by the 2009 Legislature, completed 3,860 mediations, and 1,674 agreements were reached between the lender and the homeowner.

Buckley, a Democrat from Las Vegas who authored the legislation, said the numbers show its need. The program was overwhelmed with requests for mediation.

Ron Titus, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, which oversees the program, said the second year should go more smoothly.

“We still have a backlog, but our recently implemented case management system and the addition of new mediators will only improve the efficiency of the program,” Titus said.

As of June 30, there were 270 mediators.

When the lender does not show up for the mediation session, a foreclosure of the home cannot proceed, and the homeowner stays in the residence. That happened 1,131 times of the 3,860 completed cases.

Titus said that in only 445 mediations, or 12 percent, the lender got certificates from the program permitting foreclosures to go forward. The law says a lender cannot complete foreclosure on a home without first obtaining a certificate from the foreclosure mediation program.

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