Posts Tagged ‘foreclosure’

Attorney General Urges Nevadans To Apply For Free Foreclosure Review By New Sept. 30 Deadline

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 12:01 pm July 6th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The deadline for a free, federal independent foreclosure review for Nevadans whose homes were in foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 has been extended to Sept. 30, 2012, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said today.

The previous deadline was July 31.

Photo by respres via Wikimedia Commons.

Ordered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the independent foreclosure review will determine whether individuals suffered financial injury and should receive compensation or other remedy because of errors or other problems which occurred during the foreclosure process.

“Do not wait until the extended Sept. 30 deadline to submit your application for a free and independent foreclosure review,” Masto said.

According to the OCC’s recent report, as of May 31, 108,687 Nevadans who are eligible for the review received a mailing and 4,267 Nevadans submitted requests for review.

Information about Independent Foreclosure Review may appear in this format in advertisements and postcard notices that eligible borrowers recently received by mail.

More information, including edibility and online applications is available at www.independentforeclosurereview.com or 888-952-9105 (between 8 am and 10 pm (Eastern), Monday through Friday, and between 8 am and 5 pm Saturday). All requests for Review Forms must be submitted online or postmarked no later than September 30, 2012. Not every finding will result in compensation or other remedy.

In first announcing the program on May 31, Masto said: “I encourage Nevadans hurt by foreclosure errors and who are eligible, to apply for a free review before the July 31 (now Sept. 30) deadline. In doing so, beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee for any foreclosure review service and immediately report those persons or companies to my office.”

To be eligible, the foreclosure process must have been active between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010. The property securing the loan must have been a primary residence, and the mortgage must have been serviced by: America’s Servicing Co., Aurora Loan Services, BAC Home Loans Servicing, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, Countrywide, EMC, EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company, Financial Freedom, GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Services, MetLife Bank, National City Mortgage, PNC Mortgage, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo, or Wilshire Credit Corporation.

More than 4.3 million forms and letters explaining the process were sent to eligible homeowners in 2011. Nevada residents who received a letter should be aware it is a legitimate program.

Anyone who wants to report an independent foreclosure review scam can contact the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Hotline at 702-486-3132 or visit http://bit.ly/NVAGComplaintForms.

 

CD3 Candidate John Oceguera Side Steps Question Of Support For Federal Health Care Law, Offers No Plan on Key Issues

By Sean Whaley | 9:10 pm May 7th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Assembly Speaker and 3rd Congressional District candidate John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, declined today to say whether he supports the federal health care law now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Oceguera, who is termed out of office in the Assembly, said it is premature to comment on the law given the fact that it is awaiting a decision on its constitutionality by the nation’s high court.

CD3 candidate John Oceguera.

“What I say is, if we can make health care more transparent, make insurance companies more transparent, and get the cost of health care down, then I’m for that.”

Oceguera, interviewed on Jon Ralston’s Face To Face television program, repeatedly declined to state a position on the law. Oceguera is challenging Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., in a race that has attracted several other candidates as well.

Heck won the seat in 2010 after defeating then-Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who voted for the health care law. Titus was one of many Democrats in Congress who was defeated after voting for the controversial health care legislation. Titus is now a candidate for congress in the 1st Congressional District.

Heck, a physician, opposes the health care law.

Asked about comments by Mike Willden, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, that Nevada will have to add 150,000 people to the Medicaid program and spend $574 million between now and 2020 if the health care law is upheld, Oceguera offered qualified support for increased access to health care.

Willden made the comments in an interview televised today on Nevada NewsMakers and reported by the Nevada News Bureau.

“I think that if we can make health care more accessible, that is a laudable goal and we ought to do that,” Oceguera said.

A now retired North Las Vegas firefighter, Oceguera said he knows firsthand that for many people, it was dialing 911 that was their option to gain access to medical care.

“I don’t think that is the way it should work,” he said.

Oceguera pushed for a bill in the 2011 legislative session that would have imposed more transparency on rate increases sought by health insurance companies. Assembly Bill 309 passed the Legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

In his veto message Sandoval said the goals of the measure were laudable, but that the bill “does more harm than good and seems to impose duplicative regulatory requirements.”

Oceguera took the opportunity during the interview to criticize Heck for what he said were comments that minimized Nevada’s foreclosure crisis in 2008 by calling it a blip on the radar and for not being proactive in dealing with the problem.

A House committee held a hearing on the crisis in Las Vegas in March at Heck’s request.

Oceguera said job creation is the key to the foreclosure crisis.

“You fix this economy, you get it back on track, you balance the budget the right way,” he said. “That helps put people back to work. If they’ve got a job they can make their house payment.”

But Oceguera offered few specifics on how to end the foreclosure crisis or protect Medicare. He also declined to take a position on the federal stimulus bill.

Oceguera also responded to questions about a column written by Las Vegas Review-Journal Glenn Cook last month calling him a “world class hypocrite” for championing the middle class after retiring at age 43 to collect a lifetime public pension.

Oceguera said he was fortunate to be a firefighter and that he “did it by the book.”

The election is about priorities and getting the economy back on track, he said.

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Audio clips:

Congressional candidate John Oceguera says he is for more transparency to get the cost of health care down:

050712Oceguera1 :08 I’m for that.”

Oceguera says getting people back to work is key to solving the foreclosure crisis:

050712Oceguera3 :14 their house payment.”

Obama to Talk Home Refinancing in Las Vegas Following Romney’s Controversial Foreclosure Remarks

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:46 am October 24th, 2011

LAS VEGAS – President Obama will today announce he is expanding a federal aid program to allow more homeowners to refinance their mortgages at today’s low interest rates, said White House officials this morning.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s announcement on changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) includes enabling borrowers who are current on payments to refinance their mortgages regardless of the value of their homes, said  HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Director of the National Economic Council Gene B. Sperling on a White House conference call.

Under the previous program’s guidelines mortgage restructuring was available only to homeowners owing no more than 125 percent of their property’s present appraised value, a restriction that prevented homeowners in hard hit states such as Nevada and California from getting relief.

The revised federal program would also reduce the number of homeowner-paid appraisals during the refinance process, reduce the cost of title insurance and lien processing, and even possibly reduce closing costs in states hardest hit by the mortgage crisis, including Nevada.

The economic and political impact of the new housing initiative is iffy in light of the high foreclosure rate and 13.4 percent unemployment rate in Nevada.

The state continues to lead the country in distressed property rates, according to RealtyTrac’s most recent U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Additionally, Las Vegas has five times the foreclosure rate of the national average in metropolitan areas with populations of at least 200,000.

The housing issue will likely be an oft-used political football in Nevada between now and the November elections.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney caused a stir last week when he suggested home foreclosures should be allowed to “hit the bottom” to help the housing industry recover.

In an interview published Tuesday ahead of the CNN presidential debate, Romney told Las Vegas Review Journal‘s editorial board he thinks the foreclosure crisis can best be ended by allowing banks to proceed against homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgages. New investors could then buy and rent out those homes until the market adjusted, he said.

“As to what to do for the housing industry specifically and are there things that you can do to encourage housing: One is, don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom,” Romney said.

Democrats are criticizing Romney as being callous and out of touch with middle class Americans.

“Mitt Romney’s message to Nevada homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage bills is simple: You’re on your own, so step aside,” President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said in a statement last week.

Sen. Harry Reid also chimed in. “Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate in America, and it has for almost three years. And here’s what Mitt Romney said: He would just let them hit rock bottom,” Reid said during a press conference in Washington D.C. “I don’t know what’s more graphic than that, in how we have different views of what the world should be like than our Republican friends.”

Obama is also expected to talk about his jobs initiatives when he speaks to a struggling East Las Vegas neighborhood this afternoon.

The president has been urging Congress to pass portions of the American Jobs Act, a $477 billion package of tax cuts and new federal spending aimed primarily at creating or saving public sector jobs.

Obama is also today holding a campaign fundraiser at Bellagio.

White House officials said Obama this week will be announcing a number of executive actions on the economy during a Western states tour that includes southern California and Colorado.

Nevada Attorney General Joins 49-State Mortgage Foreclosure Group

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 4:30 pm October 13th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is joining a 49-state bipartisan mortgage foreclosure working group as part of a coordinated national effort by states to review the practice of so-called “robo-signing” within the mortgage servicing industry.

The Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group, comprised of state attorneys general in 49 states, and state banking and mortgage regulators in 30 states, will explore whether individual mortgage servicers have improperly submitted documents in support of foreclosures.

Specifically, the group will look into whether companies misrepresented on affidavits and other documents that they reviewed and verified supporting foreclosure documentation. The group will also attempt to determine whether companies also signed affidavits outside the presence of a notary public, along with other possible issues regarding servicing irregularities or abuses.

“This issue affects peoples’ homes as well as the economy,” Masto said. “This probe will be thorough, expeditious, and fair to both homeowners and lenders.”

Submitting foreclosure documents without verification, with false representation, and/or signing certain legal documents outside the presence of a notary public may constitute deceptive acts and/or unfair practices, and may otherwise violate state laws and court rules.

The multistate group, through an executive committee, will contact a comprehensive list of individual mortgage servicers. The group’s initial objectives include: putting an immediate stop to improper mortgage foreclosure practices; reviewing past and present practices by mortgage servicers subject to the inquiry; evaluating potential remedies for past practices and to deter future improper practices; and establishing a mechanism for more effective independent monitoring of future mortgage foreclosure practices.

“This is a cooperative and coordinated effort to address a serious problem,” Masto said. “The group may limit, expand or change its objectives, but it won’t stray from the goal of addressing a situation that has affected and continues to affect homeowners.”

State of Nevada, Local Governments, Race to Spend Funds By Deadline

By Sean Whaley | 10:29 am August 4th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada officials are racing the clock to get their full share of federal foreclosure relief dollars.

Some states and local governments elsewhere around the country are at risk of losing millions in foreclosure relief funds. But officials with the state of Nevada and local government entities who are managing the programs say they are on track to obligate their full allotments by September deadlines.

Even so, several Nevada officials said the funds are only a drop in the bucket to address Nevada’s foreclosure crisis.

States and local governments around the country face the deadlines to obligate their share of funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The program started in March 2009 and entities receiving funds have 18 months to use or lose the funds. Deadlines vary by a day or two depending on when agreements were signed but they are coming up next month.

Money that is not expended by the deadline will be returned to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for use in the third phase of the program, which recently saw another $1 billion of funding authorized.

USA Today reported last week some states and local governments are having a difficult time obligating their share of funds.

But that does not appear to be the case in Nevada. The city of Las Vegas has the most unobligated funds remaining, about 20 percent as of the end of July, but a city official said every effort is being made to ensure the money is spent.

Dr. Hilary Lopez, chief of federal programs for the Nevada Housing Division, said the state received $24.2 million from HUD for the program. The state’s deadline to obligate the funds is Sept. 11.

“And we actually feel very confident that prior to Sept. 11 we will probably have 100 percent of our funds obligated,” Lopez said. “If not, then by Sept. 11 we would meet that requirement.”

Several Nevada officials acknowledged the program got off to a slow start. They also acknowledge it has provided only limited help in Nevada, where the foreclosure rate remained the highest in the nation in the first half of 2010.

“It was slow getting up and running on that and getting the program going because it was brand new,” said Kristen Cooper, principal planner for Clark County. “When you have a brand new program it can take some time to work out the kinks and in this case just figure out what the rules were, really.”

Cooper said the county is in great shape now, with 100 percent of its $8 million state allocation obligated and at least 96 percent of its $22.8 million in direct federal funding obligated.

The county has 160 properties either purchased or in escrow and another 16 still being sought through the program.

But the program is just a “drop in the bucket,” she said.

“It benefits real people, and real families and real neighborhoods, but it’s not enough,” Cooper said.

Douglas Kuntz, the official in charge of the program in Henderson, said the city’s program started out slow as well. But the $4 million provided to the city through state and federal allocations is all obligated, he said.

“Our total is a little over 30 properties and we’re looking to purchase three more,” Kuntz said. “We’re looking forward to more funding.”

While the program has not made a significant dent in the foreclosure crisis, the city was able to target certain census tracts for the funds and so it has made a difference in those neighborhoods, he said.

City of Las Vegas spokeswoman Diana Paul said that as of July 28, the city has spent or obligated 81 percent of its nearly $15 million direct allocation for the program. The city has also spent or obligated 80 percent of the nearly $6 million allocated to the city through the state program.

“We are doing our due diligence to make sure all the money has been spent prior to or by the deadline,” she said.

Lopez said the state program didn’t get going until a task force put together by Gov. Jim Gibbons was able to meet and determine which communities would be eligible for the funding, and in what amounts. The task force continues to meet to oversee the program, which involves several communities from Washoe to Nye and Clark County, she said.

The state program is seeing funds used both for the acquisition of foreclosed and abandoned properties for rehabilitation which are then either resold or rented to eligible households and for direct down payment assistance to eligible households to purchase property.

The program has involved all single-family homes, Lopez said.

A total of 142 units are part of the property acquisition part of the program in Washoe, Douglas, Lyon, Nye and Clark counties. Another 62 units are part of the down-payment assistance part of the program, according to information provided by the state Housing Division.

___

Audio clips:

State official Dr. Hilary Lopez says she expects all the money to be obligated by a Sept. 11 deadline:

080210Lopez1 :15 meet that requirement.”

Lopez says the state and local agencies have worked to ensure all the money is put to use:

080210Lopez2 :17 is all utilized.”

Kristin Cooper of Clark County said the program started slow because it was new:

080210Cooper1 :21 rules were, really.”

Cooper said the program has been a help but more assistance is needed:

080210Cooper2 :24 that is needed.”

Secretary of State Records Show Tarkanian LLC in Default

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:50 pm May 12th, 2010

A quick search of the Secretary of State’s website shows that one of the LLCs named in the big Tarkanian foreclosure case – Vegas Diamond Properties – is in a state of Default, which means its Annual List of officers has not been filed/renewed with the SOS.

The last Annual List was filed on May 7, 2008, and the current one was due on June 30, 2009.

It is fairly common to allow an LLC to go dormant or dead by choosing not to file the Annual List, but it is rather unusual to allow an entity that owns property and is embroiled in a lawsuit to go into default.

The official comment from Team Tark right now is that Tarkanian is not the Resident Agent on the LLC and was not aware that it was in default. And that he is now looking into it.

You can read my earlier post for a sum-up of the court case.

Montandon Releases Mortgage Foreclosure Plan

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:52 pm February 11th, 2010

A new idea from the Montandon campaign today.  The sum-up:

The Foreclosure Avoidance and Stabilization Today Program (FAST Program) utilizes a private insurance policy combined with a state government backed loan protection plan to address the current economic crisis in Nevada’s housing market. This plan will also provide an urgent solution to prevent further deterioration in the State’s housing market.

The problem to be solved:

As ARM loans readjust homeowners are unable to refinance due to the homes negative equity. The current system fails to recognize the real problems facing homeowners; banks are unwilling to talk with homeowners until the home is in default, and even after default banks lack a financial solution to address the current market realities. Banks are unable to refinance the loan because the current market value of the home is less than the amount owed on the first loan. FAST encourages banks to work with homeowners through a private mortgage insurance backed through the full faith and credit of the State of Nevada.

Montandon’s solution:

FAST provides a government-backed guarantee on a portion of the loan that is unsecured by the market value of the home. Suppose that a home was purchased for $300,000 in 2005 on a 5-Year 0-Interest ARM, this summer the 5-year arm readjusts and the homeowner is unable to make the new payments. The home is now worth $200,000, and to refinance the bank will only make a loan on the value of the home, so the homeowner will have to come up with $100,000 to satisfy the original loan. Many Nevadans faced with this common scenario are forced into foreclosure. In this example, FAST would provide a guarantee on the $100,000 and provide a path for homeowners to refinance their home and protect the value of their neighbor’s homes by preventing foreclosure.

FAST is funded through private insurance premiums paid by participating homeowners in their loan closing costs and is not a taxpayer-subsidized program. Homeowners electing to save their home through FAST will pay an insurance premium used to satisfy the gap loan in the event that a homeowner forecloses on a FAST secured home. Nevada can protect the State’s housing market by preventing foreclosures from driving down the value of all homes in the state.

And the attempt at an inspirational closing:

FAST embodies the Nevadan ideal that people do not just walk away from their obligations:  they are “battle born” to fight to do what is right.

Some interesting ideas here.  And at least he has a plan for the foreclosure crisis.  Haven’t seen any from anyone else.

Dina Titus: Another “F” Word

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:31 pm February 3rd, 2010

Foreclosure, that is.

From a statement on her website:

Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada’s Third District released the following statement today on HUD Secretary Donovan’s announcement that additional HUD staff will be added in Las Vegas.

“I am pleased that Secretary Donovan has listened to our calls for more assistance with the foreclosure crisis, but increasing HUD staff must be the first of many more steps so we can keep people in their homes. Southern Nevada is ground zero as we continue to have the highest foreclosure rate in the country. Unfortunately, the programs implemented by the Obama Administration have not gone far enough to fully address this crisis in the hardest hit communities. And when there have been opportunities to compete for vital funding, local agencies have failed to step up to the plate and prove their ability to use the money quickly and effectively.