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Gov. Sisolak Orders Lenders To Work With Customers During COVID-19 Emergency

A house for sale in Las Vegas.
Chris Smith/Desert Companion

A house for sale in Las Vegas.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed an order stopping evictions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Treasurer Zach Conine joined Sisolak at a news conference Sunday to confirm the order allows people to get 90 days of relief from mortgage payment to prevent putting people who are laid off or furloughed out on the streets.

The 90-day grace period isn’t automatic; you must reach out to your lender.

“The worst thing a consumer could do is not ask any questions and not to go to their credit union first,” said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the Nevada Credit Union League.

She said the same is true for someone who has a mortgage through a bank any other type lender.

Dykstra advised people to get their financial paperwork in order and bring some patience because getting through to the institution and getting your request processed could take some time.

“I think that consumers need to be patient everybody got impacted very quickly at the same time,” she said.

And institutions aren't just offering help for mortgage payments, Dykstra said credit unions are offering short term loans to cover expenses and some of the loans are very low to zero percent interest.

She advised that people not seek out help from payday, check cashing or title loan companies.

"They all charge an enormous amount of interest and fees," she said, "A consumer may never get out of that hole. Avoid going to those institutions at all costs."

Credit unions aren't the only financial institutions offering help, banks are also working with customers.

Phyllis Gurgevich is the president and CEO of the Nevada Bankers Association. She said banks have a range of options for people to work out mortgage, business loan or credit card payments - but customers must call.

"We can't the message out there enough that you need to talk to your lender before you miss a payment," she said, "That way it doesn't get reported as a missed payment on your credit. You want to protect your home. You want to protect your business and you also want to protect your credit."

She said after a 90-day grace period for financial hardship banks will reassess the customer's situation to figure out what options are available.

For those looking to buy or sell their home, there is a lot of uncertainty. Crystal Schulz is a mortgage loan officer for Pinnacle Lending Group. 

She said there is a lot more inventory on the market and it may be because of fear.

"A lot of people trying to get out while they can," she said, "To get out of the payment or sell while the price is still high."

She believes the price of homes in Southern Nevada will see a drop as more homes go on the market.

"We probably will see a little bit of a drop in price because of decreased demand with the increased inventory," she said.

Crystal Schulz, mortgage loan officer, Pinnacle Lending Group;
Phyllis Gurgevich, president and CEO, Nevada Bankers Association; 
Diana Dykstra, president and CEO, Nevada Credit Union League.


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(Editor's note: Chris Sieroty no longer works for Nevada Public Radio)