Nevada justices: Foreclosure mediation records confidential

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court rejected a move by a nonprofit organization to acquire records held by the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program.

In a decision released Thursday, justices backed a lower court and ruled 6-0 that records sought by the Civil Rights for Seniors organization are not public records.

The mediation program, which is administered by the Supreme Court’s Administrative Office of the Courts, allows people in danger of foreclosure to seek a mediation hearing to try to work out loan deals with the mortgage holders to allow them to stay in their homes.

The nonprofit group, in seeking to determine the effectiveness of the program, had sought many records, including names of mediators and minutes of their meetings with people in foreclosure. The Administrative Office of the Courts agreed to give the group statistical information but not any personal identifying data.

Civil Rights for Seniors said that was not enough because they “would be unable to track a particular case or contact homeowners for additional information,” according to the decision. The court office argued that it wasn’t a government agency and did not have to release the information. It also said many of the documents sought had been deemed confidential.

In its decision, the Supreme Court said participants in the Foreclosure Mediation Program have been promised that identifying information would be confidential.

Justices ruled that “the records in question are confidential as a matter of law.”

On its website, Alice Thomas, executive director of the Reno-based Civil Rights for Seniors, said the organization believes the Foreclosure Mediation Program is a failure and has not helped senior citizens remain in their homes.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.


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