Frank X. Mullen, Jr.
July 12, 2010

A year ago, Nevada’s new foreclosure-mediation law was touted as a savior that would keep an estimated 17,700 Silver State families in their homes and prevent communities from becoming ghost towns in a state that led the nation in home foreclosures.

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Under the law, borrowers who believe they can avoid foreclosure if the terms of their mortgages are modified can ask for mediation, and lenders must attend the mediation meeting. The mediation mandate kicks in once foreclosure proceedings begin. Borrowers have 30 days to request the mediation meeting.

Lawmakers who pushed for the measure say the law is working but needs to be more consistent. Banking representatives say they are pleased with the mediation procedure and that just showing up or calling in at a mediation meeting is enough “good faith” to satisfy the requirements of the statute.

But critics argue the mediation law is a toothless sham because the program isn’t following the law. Homeowners and their advocates argue that although lenders’ representatives are taking part in meetings, they aren’t negotiating. They charge that many lenders would rather throw homeowners out than consider loan modifications.

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