CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada homeowners facing financial difficulties can once again take advantage of a foreclosure prevention lifeline offered by the state.

The foreclosure mediation program allows homeowners to sit down with lenders and discuss alternatives to foreclosure. But interested Nevada residents will have to act quickly in order to qualify for the program.

“It gives homeowners who are behind in their mortgage payments and facing foreclosure a respite as well as a chance to meet with the bank in order to restructure their mortgages and avoid losing their homes,” Geoff Giles, a Reno real estate lawyer, told the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://on.rgj.com/2t6yXpi).

A measure signed into law earlier this year closed a gap of several months during which homeowners had few options to help them save their house.

The new law allows homeowners to choose to participate in mediation within 30 days of being served a notice of default. However, residents who got their notice after December and before the legislative measure was signed into law have until Tuesday to file mediation paperwork with the appropriate district court.

Having to file the petition in district court is one of the changes the program is seeing under the new law.

The program is now being administered by the state-sponsored nonprofit Home Means Nevada, instead of the state Supreme Court. The director’s office of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry will oversee the program’s transition.

Another change is the mediator’s fee, which increased by $100 to $500. Homeowners and lenders will split the fee in half.


Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com