Official says lenders may renege on promises

Some banks and other lenders will agree to modify home loans during mediation but then renege on the agreements, said a legislative leader who sponsored a bill on foreclosure mediation.

Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley. D-Las Vegas, made the comment late Tuesday during a hearing before the Nevada Supreme Court in Las Vegas.

The Supreme Court is considering revisions to the state’s foreclosure modification program rules.

Cameron Asgarion, a staff worker with Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., agreed that some lenders aren’t standing behind their commitments to modify loan terms.

“Many consumers sign a modification agreement only to never hear from a lender again,” he said.

Other times, lenders agree to a modification only to return later with revised modification terms.

The new law, which took effect last year, requires home mortgage lenders to participate in mediation hearings if requested by the homeowner. The program gives struggling borrowers an opportunity to ask the lender to reduce the principal amount owed, lower the interest rate or lower monthly payments so the borrower can avoid foreclosure.

Meeting participants told the court that attorneys representing lenders at the hearings often lack authority or information about the home mortgages. Instead, mediators said participants frequently gather around the attorney while he speaks on a cell phone to a banker in another state who ultimately says little but “yes” or “no” after keying numbers into a computer.

“These people typically do not have authority to negotiate,” mediator and lawyer Bob Apple said. “They do the number crunching by phone.”

Buckley and high court justices also expressed concern that some mediators were permitting lenders to show up for mediation sessions without the necessary documentation, including new appraisals.

“The statute requires that the documents be brought (to mediation meetings),” she said. “If you don’t follow the rules, then, guess what, they are not going to be followed.”

Mediators can refuse to certify a mediation if they determine that the lender didn’t participate in good faith.

Apple acknowledged that he initially didn’t require lenders to bring all of the required documents as long as they were trying to negotiate. The mediator said he now demands that lenders bring required information and documents.

However, lender attorney Michael Brooks said some homeowners fail to provide requested documents.

Michael Joe, a lawyer at the center, suggested that consumers need help preparing to represent themselves in mediation.

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada conducts free seminars on foreclosure mediation in cooperation with the William Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

But Joe criticized loan modification services for taking advantage of homeowners in foreclosure.

“I don’t say (home-loan modification consultants) are all bad, but a lot of them are,” he said. “Homeowners are desperate and scared. They don’t know who to turn to.”

Ian Hirsch, president of Fortress Credit Services, a licensed loan modification consultancy, objected to a provision that might prohibit him from representing homeowners at mediation sessions although he often spends more than a year helping homeowners negotiate modifications.

“For us this is one step in a journey that sometimes takes over one year,” Hirsch said.

Fortress Credit charges 1 percent of the loan amount but nothing additional to participate in mediation, he said.

Christy Sinsara, president of Consumer Advocacy Group, said her organization charges $250 to attend mediation sessions. She also questioned the rule that could ban mortgage modification consultants from participating in mediation meetings, saying they were better equipped than many lawyers.

“It’s a numbers game,” she said.

Contact reporter John G. Edwards at
jedwards@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0420.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like