If you have received a Notice of Default and have elected Foreclosure Mediation or are about to receive a Notice of Default and want to know your options, we have a variety of resources that are available to you at no cost. Please call 868-1147 to set up an appointment with our foreclosure staff and click below for more details.
CIVIL LAW SELF-HELP CENTER
We now have the ability to answer your foreclosure related questions at this Self Help Center. This is a place where you can go and have procedural and administrative questions answered.
For homeowners who have more detailed questions about foreclosures and who want to talk to an attorney and obtain legal advice about your case, we have attorneys available at Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada at pre-determined times. Sign up at Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, 725 E. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89104.
For homeowners who meet certain income guidelines and need legal representation, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada staff attorneys or pro bono attorneys may be able to represent you. Please come to Legal Aid Center Monday through Thursday between 9:00am and 4:00pm to see an intake advocate. Please be sure to bring all your related paperwork.
This is the Supreme Court's Foreclosure Mediation Program.
The Foreclosure Process
Nevada is a non-judicial foreclosure state. That means that your lender does not have to go to court to foreclose on your mortgage; they simply have to follow steps in the statute. The first flow chart below explains how the foreclosure process works. The second flow charts describes the process used when the borrower requests mediation under NRS 107.086.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE IN DEFAULT. When you fail to make your payments on your mortgage as agreed to in your loan agreement, you are said to be in default. Even if you miss one payment you are in default. If you miss a payment deadline, you are in default but generally, you can cure the default by making the payment and paying the late fees. Once you go into default this is the process for the bank to foreclose.
There are two notices to be on the lookout for: The "Notice of Default and Election to Sell" and the "Notice of Trustee's Sale."
They will record a notice of default and election to sell with the County Recorders Office. This is an official filing that you can view on the County Recorders Office's web site. They will send you a copy of the notice by registered or certified mail. You then have up to 5 days before the sale in which to cure the default. Generally that means that you have to pay all the back due amounts. If you don't cure, then they will record a Notice of Trustee's Sale with the County Recorders Office. This is an official filing that you can view on the County Recorders Office's web site. They must send you a copy of the notice by registered or certified mail. This notice outlines the details of the sale, that the house will be sold on a specific day, at a specific time at a specific place (For example: On Wednesday, February 5, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. on the courthouse steps). They must post notice of the sale in three public places for 20 consecutive days. They must place an ad in a newspaper (generally this is in a legal paper) for three consecutive weeks. Because of these requirements, the sale date is usually 3 weeks after notce of sale.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW. Once you receive the notice of default, the sale will happen in approximately 111 days (three months plus the three weeks), You should be aware that the foreclosure is actually done by the trustee rather than the bank that holds the mortgage. So notices do not come from the bank but from a third party whom you may not recognize. In order for the notice to be effective you do not have to actually receive it. Once the process starts it may be very hard to stop. The lender may be negotiating with you on a loan modification but at the same time, another arm in the company is foreclosing on you. Generally, they are separate and distinct processes. Once you pass the period to cure, the bank does not have to stop the foreclosure even if you offer to pay all the back payments. The Obama Making Homes Affordable Plan is voluntary. The bank does not have to give you a loan modification. Because the bank is not required to modify your loan, you must qualify under their guidelines. The key is income and asset verification. If you make too little money they may not modify. If you make too much, they may not modify.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. Don't wait. If you need to do a loan modification you need to start early. There is very little that can be done if you ask for help after a sale date has been set. As a general rule, you should not stop paying your mortgage as a strategy to get a loan modification. It may start the foreclosure process and you may be unable to stop it. You should prepare a hardship letter. This letter explains your circumstances, why your situation may have changed and presents a case why they should modify your loan. You should prepare a financial package which should contain;
- A financial statement, listing your income and expenses
- Last two income tax returns
- Last two pay stubs
- Last two bank statements
- List of your assets, CD's, investments, car, other real estate, etc.
Contact your lender.
Concerned About Losing Your Home?
If you are facing foreclosure, beware of scammers! Generally, you do not need to pay anyone to seek a loan modification for you. You should be very suspicious if someone knocks on your door telling you that they can save your home. You can do it yourself, or there are organizations that will do this for free. Our non-profit partner Financial Guidance Center (702-364-0344) works with homeowners to help modify their mortgages for free, regardless of income. You may also visit the Hardest Hit Funds website for information.
Be aware, that scammers monitor the recorder’s website to find out who is facing foreclosure. Then they approach the homeowner with promises of help. They make their papers look very official so be skeptical, especially if they ask for money.
Alarms should go off in your head if someone says they can save your home by transferring ownership. Don’t ever deed your house over to someone. Don’t ever sign a quitclaim deed.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Don't wait. If the process has progressed too far, it may be too late to stop foreclosure of your home.
- Call your lender and ask for assistance. Most lenders have programs where they work with homeowners to modify loans. Start early because it may take several weeks to process a request.
- If you do receive a notice of default, you can request mandatory mediation under NRS 107.086 which will require your lender to sit down with you and discuss modification options.
- Be patient and understanding, because lenders are busy during this financial crisis. And always remember, that most people at the lender are just doing their jobs but will help you if they can.
- If you are having difficulty with your lender, then seek help from Financial Guidance Center (702-364-0344).
- The Money Matters site maintained by the Federal Trade Commission offers short, practical tips and links to helpful resources under Your Home. Topics include: mortgage payments, foreclosure rescue scams, reverse mortgages and mortgage servicing.
ARE YOU RENTING A RESIDENCE WHICH IS BEING FORECLOSED UPON?
Effective 5/20/09, a new federal law grants you important new rights. On that day, President Obama signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, S. 896, P.L. 111-22. This bill includes a nationwide 90 day pre-eviction notice requirement for tenants in foreclosed properties. Moreover, a new Nevada law, AB 140 which took effect on 10-1-09, gives you additional important protections. For more information go to Eviction Following Foreclosure on the Civil Law Self-Help Center website.
MAY I BE EVICTED AFTER MY HOME IS SOLD AT A FORECLOSURE SALE?
Yes. After the foreclosure sale the highest bidder (usually lender) becomes the new owner. If you do not leave voluntarily or enter into an agreement which allows you to stay, the new owner may evict you. What must the new owner do prior to evicting me? Prior to filing an eviction action with the court NRS 40.255 requires the new owner to first serve you with a 3 day “notice to quit”. If you do not move out within 3 judicial days (excludes weekends and holidays), the new owner may serve you with a Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer which asks the court for an order evicting you.
I HEARD THAT A NEW FEDERAL LAW GIVES ME 90 DAYS TO MOVE FOLLOWING FORECLOSURE. DOESN'T THAT PROTECT ME?
The “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, S. 896, P.L. 111-22” does not protect a homeowner who defaults on a mortgage. It only protects “bona fide” tenants who were renting from the owner at the time of foreclosure.
CAN I RENT TO A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER TO GET THE EXTRA 90 DAYS?
Under the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, S. 896, P.L. 111-22”, a lease or tenancy shall be considered bona fide only if--
- the mortgagor or the child, spouse, or parent of the mortgagor under the contract is not the tenant;
- the lease or tenancy was the result of an arms-length transaction; and
- the lease or tenancy requires the receipt of rent that is not substantially less than fair market rent for the property or the unit's rent is reduced or subsidized due to a Federal, State, or local subsidy.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I GET A 3 DAY “NOTICE TO QUIT”?
If the foreclosure sale was legitimate, you will need to move unless you make an agreement with the new owner which allows you to stay. For example, the new owner may agree to rent the property to you. Also to save the cost of evicting you, the new owner may agree to give you extra time to move. If you are unwilling or unable to reach an agreement with the new owner you may wait until a court orders you to move.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM SERVED WTIH A SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER?
Your basic choices are to do nothing or respond by filing an answer. If you do not file an answer within the time specified, the new owner may apply to the court for a default judgment against you. Generally you have 20 days to answer but the new owner (now called the Plaintiff) may have obtained an order from the court “shortening the time to answer”. If so, you must file your answer within the shortened time or face a default. Under JCRCP 108, the time to answer may not be shortened to less than 10 calendar days after service of the summons and complaint.
WHAT CAN I GAIN BY FILING AN ANSWER?
Filing an answer can get extra time to move if the new owner will not agree voluntarily. You can get extra time three ways. First you may get the eviction dismissed if you have a defense. For example, if the new owner failed to properly serve you which a 3 day notice to quit, the court could dismiss the eviction and force the new owner to start the process again by serving you with a new 3 day notice. Second, the court process including holding a hearing will add time. Third, you may ask the judge to delay the day that a sheriff or constable can evict you by granting “stay of execution” to give you extra time to move. In unusual cases, filing an answer may lead to the possibility of reopening the foreclosure it self if it was not done legally. This will probably necessitate the services of an attorney.
CAN I LOSE ANYTHING BY FILING AN ANSWER?
When you file an answer, you will need to pay a filing fee unless the court grants a waiver based upon your inability to pay. Under NRS 69.020 and NRS 69.030. if the court ultimately decides that the Plaintiff is entitled to evict you the court may order that you pay the Plaintiff’s costs including attorneys’ fees. The Plaintiff may also ask the Court to award money damages if you damage the property (commit “waste”).
HOW DO I FILE AN ANSWER?
You may obtain a form answer using the Civil Law Self-Help Center's website.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM ALSO SERVED WTIH AN ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE?
In addition to serving you with a Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer, the Plaintiff may also serve you with an order to show cause why a temporary writ of restitution should not be issued. A writ of restitution is an order from the court evicting you. A temporary writ of restitution gives possession to the Plaintiff pending a final order at the end of the case. A Plaintiff must post a bond to get a temporary writ of restitution. Except for extraordinary circumstances, an order to show cause hearing to determine whether a temporary writ of restitution shall issue may not occur until at least 11 calendar days after service of a summons and complaint. The “show cause” hearing is not the trial on the merits. Under JCRCP107, a trial to enter a permanent writ evicting you can be set no earlier than 20 calendar days after service of summons and complaint. If a “show cause” hearing is scheduled, a default judgment shall not be entered until such hearing has occurred, even if the time to answer has passed. You should appear at the hearing to tell the judge about any defenses which you have. You can also request a stay (extra time to move if you need it). If the hearing is held earlier than 20 calendar days after service of the summons and complaint on you, remind the judge that under JCRCP 107 a trial on the merits to enter a permanent writ evicting must be scheduled at a later date.
SHOULD I MOVE BEFORE THE SHERIFF OR CONSTABLE LOCKS ME OUT?
Yes. If an order evicting you is entered, make every effort to move yourself and all of your belonging out before the sheriff or constable locks you out. If you cannot remove your belongings in time, try to schedule a reasonable time to return for them. If you do not remove them within a reasonable time, the new owner may store them and charge you a reasonable fee, Later, they may be sold to pay the fee.