Rob Jenson and Tisha Black give you tips on getting your money back if the seller is not releasing it to you. If you have tried to reach out to the seller and offered to settle for a different amount, you might need to take them to court. Tisha and Rob talks you through a hypothetical situation with realistic options.
Rob: Hello, I’m Rob Jenson with the Jenson Group here today with Tisha Black with Black & LoBello. We’re here to talk to you about the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program. So, Tisha, it’s good to see you again.
Tisha: Good to see you again, Rob.
Rob: Can you tell me a little bit about what this process is and then I’ll ask you some questions?
Tisha: The Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program is a program that was designed by our state legislature and is one of only a dozen states that implements a mechanism for borrowers to interface with their lenders prior to the foreclosure process.
The program started in 2009 and it is a continually evolving program. It’s had approximately seven different iterations of the rules related to the program. In essence, it involves homeowners that are being foreclosed upon. It must be your primary residence.
After you receive a notice of default, which is really the first official step in a non-judicial foreclosure in the state of Nevada, you have 30 days to opt in to the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program. You opt in by using information that is sent to you with the NOD in a package from the bank. Once you opt in, the bank has to opt in. To opt in, you have to pay $200.
Rob: So you’ve got to do this within 30 days of your notice of default. Who would want to do this?
Tisha: A lot of homeowners do it who are interested in trying to get a face-to-face contact with the bank, people who are interested in a short sale, a modification, even discussing a deed in lieu. It’s a program that promotes alternatives to foreclosures for homeowners and for lenders.
Rob: Would you say that, no matter what, it’s a good idea to go to mediation or filing for it?
Tisha: It’s oftentimes a better way to gain a resolution. Not everybody can participate in the mediation program because there are some qualifications, but it’s often a good way to get ahold of your bank one on one if you’re having trouble getting through a short sale or negotiating a short sale or working out a modification. I like to tell my clients it’s really your first chance at eyeball contact with the bank.
Rob: So to recap a little bit, it’s got to be a primary residence and you’ve got 30 days to file and send them the money and the forms. How long does it usually take until you get to go to mediation?
Tisha: It depends on the volume that we see in the program. In the beginning, it was several months because they were trying to work out the program and it was a learning process. They were working on this program as they were getting people through the process, which makes it much more difficult, but it would be several months. Then it got down to between four and six weeks of opting in the program you would get in. Now it’s probably much shorter than that because there’s not such a deluge of NODs and foreclosures that we used to have.
I am a mediator in that mediation program. I was one of the very first classes of mediators who have been in quite a long time. We used to have at least ten mediations apiece to resolve and now we’re down to two. There are quite a few mediators in the program. You have to be invited back. I guess they will probably resolve the supply issue with the demand of mediators and it should be much faster now and shorter than it was in the beginning.
Rob: Let’s just say I get my notice of default, I send in my paperwork and I’ve got a date for mediation. What should I expect and how should I prepare?
Tisha: When you opt in to the program, you’re going to get a packet that you have to fill out that relates to your financials. That gets exchanged with the bank and the bank also has to provide you certain information. After you opt in and turn in this paperwork, you’ll be assigned to a mediator. You’ll then be contacted by the mediator, who will begin to schedule the actual mediation.
In the NOD packet, you’ll be provided the rules that relate to the program, the items that you need to bring, the items that the bank is required to bring, and the timeframes for those. Essentially, you’re providing your financial information, or information related to a short sale if that’s what you’re doing, and any other information the bank might request, which changes from bank to bank. It kind of evolves over the time period.
In the beginning, they were asking for different or more information than they’re asking for now, but it’s two paystubs, two months’ worth of bank statements, two years’ worth of tax returns, and then information related to your hardship and what your monthly expenses are. Those are the things that you need to provide to the bank, and of course, it has to be your primary residence.
The bank, on the other hand, needs to provide you with information regarding their ability to be at the mediation on behalf of the lender, or the person claiming to be the lender now on the deed of trust and the note. They need to bring certified copies of a note, a deed of trust, a copy of a Broker’s Price Opinion and some other information.
Usually where the bank gets stuck is they don’t bring the appropriate documentation related to the note and an assign fee and endorsement of the note, or more specifically, an assignment of the deed of trust or substitution of the trustee that relates to that deed of trust.
So this is when it gets kind of tricky, and a lot of times, unfortunately, laymen or non-attorneys don’t understand the documents. It should be very simple. It should go A, B, C, D, but sometimes it goes A to F and then you have a Q thrown in and a four and that’s where a lot of people lose defenses they might otherwise have had if they knew what to look for.
Rob: We should make a list of this and I can put it out there on our website, as well.
Tisha: I can provide you with a copy of the forms related to the mediation program so that your audience can have a better idea of what it is.
Rob: For example, at the mediation I went to, I know that they didn’t have the Broker Price Opinion, or I was pretty sure they didn’t. Let’s say you go to mediation and they don’t have some of this stuff. Then what?
Tisha: First, you have to supply the documentation ten days before the mediation is scheduled. Both the parties have to supply it to each other, so the lender to the borrower and the borrower to the lender, and then also, copies to the mediator.
This program requires strict compliance so mediators are given the authority to deny or recommend that the certificate, which enables a lender to foreclose, be denied to a lender who doesn’t bring all the paperwork. If they are denied that certificate, then they can’t foreclose and the process has to begin again. Then what happens is they’ll come in with better paperwork.
Rob: They got their certificate in this case.
Tisha: If they were missing documentation and the certificate was allowed to issue, within ten days after the mediation, the mediator will give his opinion and he will circulate that to the parties. If there’s information on that opinion that people disagree with, they have a time certain to appeal that.
Or, if the certificate issues and they don’t think that the mediator allowed the certificate to issue and they have an issue with the foreclosure mediation program issuing the certificate, they only have a certain amount of time within which to appeal that. I don’t want to give dates on that, but those are things that they need to speak about immediately because the dates change.
Rob: Okay. Well, I think this gives everyone a pretty good overview of the process. We’ll take those copies and we’ll make them a PDF because this will be a blog post with a link to those.
Tisha: It’s a great program for borrowers. I know that lenders have had a lot of problems with it because they’ve been—I think rightfully so—caught off guard with it, but really what the program aims at is making sure that the right parties are together and have an opportunity to negotiate.
It’s in response to, previously, the banks’ inability to properly address these things with either getting their paperwork straight or addressing lenders that need such desperate help in these times.
Rob: Well, thank you very much.
Tisha: My pleasure. Thank you.
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Tisha Black, from Black & Lobello, talks about two new bills on loan mediation and foreclosures and what you can do to help.
This interesting Letter To The Editor points out some of the behind the scenes problems with short sales & foreclosures and why the incentives are in the wrong place.
Tax Notes 01.25.11
Be A Part Of The Solution
The Latest News on Short Sales as of 7/1/09
Let’s start with the definition of a short sale. The common scenario is that the homeowner owes more than the house is worth and to sell the home, the seller would have to come out of pocket at closing to make up the difference between the home sales price and the amount owed on the loan. The seller is “short” the money, so hence “short sale”.
Currently there are over 7,000 single family “Short Sales” on the market in Las Vegas & Henderson. For any number of reasons the home owner must sell and due to current market conditions their home is upside down. These sellers have stopped making their payments because, from my experience, a bank will not work with the short sale until the home owner has stopped making payments. The short sale still gives the home owner the opportunity to not have a foreclosure on their record. A short sale on your credit should hopefully show up as an account settled, and will lead to a quicker credit/FICO score recovery, than a foreclosure.
Rob Jenson & The Jenson Group are very successful at getting short sales approved by the bank and closed. The seller’s closing costs and commissions paid come out of the bank’s “net”, which means there is no out of pocket expense as the seller to hire us to short sale your property.
8 Steps – How to a strucuture a short sale for lender approval
The above link will take you to a 2-page overview of the process. If you or a friend are considering a short sale, please feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 702-255-8252 and we will be happy to answer your questions.