New state laws could help Nevada short-sellers

Since the Nevada Legislature concluded last month, I’ve had several people ask me about some of the new laws related to homeowners and the housing market. Local homeowners fared well in the 2013 legislative session.

One new law making news since the session ended is Assembly Bill 300, dealing with foreclosure issues that went into effect June 1. It amends a well-publicized law passed in 2011 known as Assembly Bill 284.

Realtors were particularly pleased to see this law incorporate some of the changes suggested by the Nevada Association of Realtors in its 2013 “Face of Foreclosure” report. Its recommendations included amending language in AB284 to remove barriers that may be discouraging banks from foreclosing when such action is truly warranted. AB284 has been blamed for stalling or preventing foreclosures and reducing the number of homes for sale.

Working with Nevada Realtors, title companies, banks, consumer counseling agencies and other interested parties, lawmakers made changes to this law via AB300, sponsored by Assemblyman Jason Frierson and Sen. Michael Roberson. AB300 changed the requirement that lenders must have “personal knowledge” of a mortgage loan’s paper trail before initiating foreclosure proceedings.

We hope this and some of the other changes in this law will lead to more homes being put on the market at a time when the housing supply is extremely low.

Another law that should help local homeowners is Senate Bill 321, the so-called “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights” that takes effect Oct. 1.

In a short sale, lenders agree to sell a home for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. Under penalty of law, buyers and sellers had to confirm they had no agreement to let the sellers stay in their home as renters or to eventually buy back the house.

As recently as this year, some Nevadans have been charged with such a crime. This will change under SB321.

Once it takes effect , Nevada law will no longer prohibit such transactions. Nor can Nevada law be interpreted to require what is called an “arm’s length” agreement. This law may help distressed homeowners seeking to sell their home as part of a short sale stay in their homes.

For more information, here’s a link to NVAR’s news release highlighting how homeowners fared in the Legislature:

Dave Tina is the 2013 president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, and has worked in the real estate industry for more than 35 years. GLVAR has more than 11,000 members. Email questions to For more information, visit

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