CARSON CITY — Nevada lawmakers worked Wednesday on bills to ease foreclosure problems for homeowners, health care facilities and renters, who often are unaware of their landlord’s mortgage woes until they face eviction.
Assembly Commerce and Labor Chairman Marcus Conklin said over 32,000 homes were foreclosed upon in Nevada over the past two years, most of them in the Las Vegas area. He told of a Henderson health care facility where people were evicted in hospital beds.
"While we have weathered a good deal of this storm, we are not out of it yet," Conklin, D-Las Vegas, said, referring to Nevada’s status as the state with the nation’s highest foreclosure rates.
Assembly Bill 140, reviewed together by Conklin’s committee and its Senate counterpart, would make it mandatory to notify renters a property is in foreclosure, and give renters 60 days notice to move out.
Lawmakers said renters often must move within hours because they aren’t notified by landlords that a property is being foreclosed upon.
The bill also would require that a notice be served to the state Board of Health if a licensed health facility faces foreclosure.
"The state of Nevada, as most of you have probably figured out by now, has one of the least renter-friendly laws with regard to foreclosure in the country, and it definitely needs to be changed," said George Ross, representing Bank of America, who worked with lawmakers to craft the bill.
The committee also heard Assembly Bill 151, which would require mortgage brokers to include a document stating the home’s value and terms of the loan in "language that is easy to understand."Change addresses ‘trashed out’ mistake
CARSON CITY — A law change approved Wednesday by the Assembly Judiciary Committee would help homeowners who face errors by mortgage companies of the sort that cost a Las Vegas family irreplaceable personal possessions.
Assembly Bill 132 was backed by Nevada Justice Association attorney Bill Bradley who said it stems from a lawsuit against Countrywide Home Loans Inc. by Gerald and Katrina Thitchener after an improper foreclosure on their condominium.
The Thitcheners won a $3.1 million judgment against Countrywide, but it was reduced to about $2.2 million by the state Supreme Court. The court wouldn’t allow tripling part of the award granted for loss of personal property.
The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, makes clear Nevada allows treble damages in cases where "forcible or unlawful entry" results in loss of personal property.
The Thitcheners’ condo was "trashed out" by mistake in 2002. Among other things, they lost Katrina’s wedding band and dress and a video taken the day they were married.