Banks moving more aggressively against delinquent Las Vegas homeowners, report says

A foreclosed home is seen Thursday, April 28, 2011.

After a brief lull, lenders are again ramping up pressure on delinquent Las Vegas homeowners, a new report shows.

The number of default notices filed in Clark County has climbed every month this year, from 194 in January to 735 in July as of Thursday, real estate tracking firm Auction Control Systems Ltd. reported today.

The company expects almost 1,000 default notices to be filed this month and 2,000 notices monthly by the fourth quarter.

Notices of default start the foreclosure process.

In a news release, ACS chief economist Anthony Martin said the uptick indicates that lenders have adjusted to state Senate Bill 321, which took effect Oct. 1.

Known as the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, the law requires lenders to have a single point of contact for struggling borrowers, and bars bankers from trying to seize a person’s home while also pursuing a short sale at the same time.

It also forces lenders to provide homeowners with foreclosure prevention options and other information before seizing a house.

The law, backed by the Nevada Association of Realtors, an advocacy group for real estate agents and brokers, has several exemptions and does not let delinquent borrowers keep their homes forever. But it was expected to possibly stretch out the foreclosure process and make it easier to avoid foreclosure through renegotiating a loan or completing a short sale, in which a bank agrees to sell a house for less than what’s owed on the mortgage.

Last year, lenders put more pressure on local homeowners before SB321 took effect, filing 3,761 notices in Clark County in September, and then backed off drastically, filing just 192 notices in October, according to Auction Control Systems.

Real Estate