CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the use of an out-of-court foreclosure process that helped investors acquire homeowner association properties at reduced prices during the Great Recession.
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan is in Las Vegas on Thursday to discuss the recent robo-signing settlement with Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. Still, that was only a start and there are many programs that were designed to fix the foreclosure crisis that have barely touched the Las Vegas housing market. We ask the Secretary about those programs and the future of housing.
Much of the foreclosure crisis has been told as a tale of wicked banks and self-indulgent homeowners. But Paul Kiel has uncovered a horrendous three year struggle of a woman who made mistakes but did not deserve to end up living in a tent in Hawaii.
The federal government has tried a variety of remedies to make sure that homeowners who are underwater would be able to refinance their homes. In Las Vegas, the Home Affordable Refinance Program has struggled because the limits are far outside the big drops in home prices that have happened here - often as much as 50 percent or even more. Now, a new report from ProPublica says that banks are gaming the system. We talk with the reporter who has examined the banks' actions.
The Nevada Supreme Court will consider adding more requirements for banks in the Mortgage Mediation Program. The rules would require banks to disclose the price they paid if they bought a mortgage at a discount because the owner wanted to unload it. Sometimes, this could be as little as 5 cents in the dollar on the value of the note. So what impact would that have? Would it speed up and improve the mediation program or set up unrealistic expectations on what banks would be willing and able to cut off the mortgage's principal?
State and federal officials across the country have announced a $26 billion settlement to charges that major banks acted carelessly and fraudulently in foreclosing on millions of homeowners across the country. Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto had been reluctant to join but did include Nevada at the very end of marathon negotiations.
On Wednesday, President Obama launched a new plan to cut through red tape and encourage banks to refinance mortgages that are under water. It would, on average, free up $3,000 to each family with a mortgage.
The answer to Las Vegas' housing and foreclosure troubles might not come from Nevada at all, some housing experts say. Many developers are looking to encourage overseas investors to buy up our oversupply of housing stock, thus increasing home values and spurring renters into move into otherwise-foreclosed and vacant homes.
Many Las Vegans have been hit hard by foreclosures and underwater mortgages. They might walk away from their home or take on debt when they sell an underpriced home. But when an Air Force member does so, that servicemember risks losing security clearance - and in some cases, even lose their jobs. The housing market has forced some servicemembers to live in trailers, or even move to different states. How has the hard-hit market affected those at Nellis Air Force Base, and what options do they have left? And how is their situation different than the average underwater homeowner?
When it comes to housing, Las Vegas consistently ranks near the top for most foreclosures and underwater mortgages. And this forces many Las Vegans who are underwater to make a choice: stay or walk away? How has the housing situation changed this past year? What decisions has it forced Las Vegans to make, and how has it affected the culture and optimism of the city? Also, what does our real estate situation look like to the rest of the world? We talk to experts, plus some homeowners on how their lives have changed. Also, special guest Lawrence Pollard from the BBC joins our panel to see how one of the country's worst foreclosure rates can change an American city.
The foreclosure crisis has not been an equal opportunity disaster for the housing market. Everyone has been hurt but the impact has been much more brutal in some neighborhoods than others. It's emptied out some streets that are looking like ghost towns in the making while other neighborhoods have only had a handful of foreclosures and new residents moved right in. What's causing that and what does it mean for the future of Las Vegas?
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto recently joined Arizona in suing the Bank of America to change its foreclosure practices. So what difference can the lawsuit make in the foreclosure crisis.
The news about home prices in Las Vegas just keeps going from bad to worse. Or so it seems. But are there any places to buy? Do home prices have any chance of recovering in our life-time? Why have the mortgage modification and neighborhood assistance programs made so little difference? Is it ever the right time to take the hit and move on to greener pastures? Experts from the real estate industry will try to assess what the real outlook for housing in the Las Vegas Valley.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is visiting Las Vegas today to highlight the Administration's programs to fix the housing market and stabilize the foreclosure crisis. But loan modification and incentives for banks have not done much. Homeowners still complain they are struggling to even get banks to listen. We ask Donovan why the programs are still struggling to make any real difference and if the federal government has any more ammunition to fix the housing crisis.
The rate of foreclosures has eased a little but short sales and foreclosures continue to dominate the local real estate market. We talk with local officials a local couple that was determined to fight foreclosures. We see how their neighborhood is doing a year after we first heard about their determination to fight the decimation of their community.
Both federal and state authorities continue to investigate and prosecute
mortgage fraud. The problems date back to the boom when banks were
defrauded. And mortgage modification rackets continue to proliferate. We
discuss the whole range of scams with former U.S. Attorney Greg Brower and
Nevada Deputy Attorney General John Kelleher.
How different are the rich from the rest of us? Lots... at least lots more of them are likely to walk away from their homes than average people who are upside down in their mortgages. So why is that? And is it the rich who are
making the right decision or is it better for everyone to stick with their mortgages. We talk with some of the experts who crunched the numbers on who exactly is walking away from their homes as well as some people who are dealing with strategic defaults on a daily basis.