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Sparks broker: Not everyone will benefit from settlement
by Jill Lufrano
Feb 09, 2012 | 1308 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SPARKS — The news of Nevada’s participation in the federal $25 billion foreclosure deal Thursday had one Sparks broker feeling cautious about what it will mean for her clients.

“It’s a good step in the right direction, but there’s still a lot of work to be done to get us headed back in the right direction,” Amy Shocket of Dickson Realty said.

The latest numbers show 1 in 16 Nevada homes in foreclosure and 58 percent of homeowners in the state owe more on their mortgages than the properties are worth.

“We’ve led the nation for years in foreclosures,” said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., on the U.S. Senate floor Thursday morning. “Something we’re not proud of, but that’s a fact.”

Federal and state officials announced at a news conference Thursday the landmark $25 billion deal reached with the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses that occurred after the housing bubble burst. The deal requires five of the largest banks — Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — to reduce loans for some 1 million households at risk of foreclosure.

Shocket’s concern is that many homeowners will be left out.

“It does represent some positives for homeowners in the form of more funds for mortgage modifications and assistance to underwater homeowners,” Shocket said. “The key will be to see how it will actually trickle down to the people who need it most and only time will tell on that.

“Consumers should know that only some of the loans serviced by the five banks involved will be affected,” Shocket added. “Loans owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not included in this settlement.”

The lenders will send $2,000 checks to another 750,000 Americans who were improperly foreclosed on. The banks will have three years to fulfill the terms of the deal.

Nevada homeowners will see $1.5 billion, according to Attorney General Catherine Masto. Nevada borrowers will receive an estimated $1.3 billion in benefits from loan term modifications and other direct relief. Those borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure from Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2011 and suffered servicing abuse would qualify for a share of $57 million in cash payments. The value of refinanced loans to underwater borrowers in the state would be an estimated $42 million, Masto said. The state will also get a direct payment of $60 million in addition to the $30 million settlement from Bank of America.

Shocket advises homeowners to seek professional assistance to find programs that might be available for them.

“Overall anything that helps homeowners is a good thing,” Shocket said.
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