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February 27, 2015

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Sen. Dean Heller touts bill to speed up short sales

Dean Heller

Dean Heller

Sen. Dean Heller now has a hat trick of housing bills before the Senate, after formally unveiling a bill to help expedite short sales Wednesday.

Heller’s new bill is mostly an effort make all mortgage service providers subject to the same policies being implemented next month by federal lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The bill—like the policy that applies to federal lenders—stops short of forcing lenders to let more underwater homeowners complete short sales. Rather, it would prevent lenders from leaving underwater homeowners hanging for more than a month as they consider whether to approve a short sale.

“Home buyers, sellers and real estate agents have long observed that banks have been slow to approve home short sales,” Heller said Wednesday. “Delays can cause cancelled contracts and homeowners being forced into foreclosures. Though short sale is seen as a far better outcome than foreclosure finding ways to improve this process and make this process more efficient has been very very difficult.”

Heller’s bill would require mortgage servicers to respond to short sale purchase offers within 30 days and issue a final decision within 60 days -- the same timeline as Fannie and Freddie must adhere to starting in June

By most casual estimates, it now takes between three and nine months to complete a short sale. According to an April report from the mortgage finance experts at RealtyTrac, the average time it takes from the start of the foreclosure process to when a sale is completed is 10.5 months—up from four months in 2007. Plus, only about a quarter of short sales ever actually go through.

Whether the changes in Heller’s bill could improve those statistic isn’t clear. But short sales are already on the rise.

RealtyTrac has identified a coming short sale tsunami in 2012, as more banks agree to start foreclosure proceedings -- and favor the short sale option.

In Southern Nevada, short sales made up about 28 percent of all sales this January -- a jump of about 38 percent over what it was a year before.

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  1. What about the $57,400,000 that NV's Attorney General is sitting on that was paid by the banks to be divided up among Nevada homeowners who were deceived by the banks into foreclosures???

    The AG has been sitting on it since April and has "no plans" as to what to do with the money yet?!?!

    I guess only getting screwed ONCE by the government is the New American Dream.

    Moving upwards towards 2000 Americans have renounced citizenship and have become ex-pats, compared to between 500-600 normal average. Any wonder why?

  2. And not a whisper of any requirement the foreclosers first prove they own the property they're selling. Nice job looking out for Nevada homeowners, Heller.

    "The regulators got bailed out, the middle class lose their jobs and their houses. All this desire to trust in the government to make sure that big corporations won't hurt them actually is a backfire on them." -- Rep. Ron Paul to Jon Stewart 9/26/11, citing the example of the real estate crash as example of government regulation gone bad