By Ramir M. Hernandez, Esq., Brooks Hubley, LLP
UTA Nevada Representative
SB 490, the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Bill, continues to make the rounds through the legislature as sine die approaches on June 5, a mere 18 days from today.
Initially, the bill would have moved the program, which is set to sunset this year, from the Supreme Court to the Nevada Housing Division. After amendment, the legislature now proposes to place the program under the aegis of Home Means Nevada, Inc., the non-profit entity that the state has set up to administer Nevada’s share of the Hardest Hit Fund. It is anticipated the some administrators currently running the program will transfer over to Home Means Nevada, Inc.
In addition to the above, the current version of SB 490 increases the recording fee for Notices of Default and raises the costs of the mediation from $400 to $600. The increase in fees is to allow the program to be self-sustaining without government assistance, which was thought to hold the bill up from passage.
The sponsors of the bill estimate that Nevada will have approximately 6,000 foreclosures each of the next two years and that if that number holds, the program will earn enough money to remain self-sustaining.
The bill is still making its way through Senate committees. At the first hearing held before the Senate Judiciary Committee, UTA testified without taking a position as to the bill, but raised concerns about the effectiveness of the current program.
On May 18, the bill was considered by the Senate Finance Committee. At that hearing, lobbyists for the banks, who had previously not commented on the bill, came out against the bill at that hearing. Specifically, they asserted that the program is no longer needed in light of the protections that the CFPB provides consumers. The committee took no action on the bill that day.
On May 23, the Senate Finance Committee considered the bill during works session and made further amendments to the bill. Ostensibly, the amendments added further funding for the program through the collection of fees to ensure that the program remains self-sufficient and would not require funding from the general fund.
An amended version of the bill passed the Senate on June 5th.
Read UTA’s letter to the Governor requesting a veto of amended bill.