State Launches Website for Struggling Homeowners

LAS VEGAS -- Thousands of Nevada homeowners are still trying to get their loans modified or short sell their homes. In an effort to help those homeowners, Governor Brian Sandoval is flexing his political muscle to make sure banks will work the people who need it.

The state has launched a website called Home Means Nevada. The site is aimed at helping homeowners understand information such as how to get a principal reduction, what to do if they have a second mortgage, and what resources are available if they are a military member.

"It is still cumbersome, it's still slow, there are still several layers behind the bank," said real estate attorney Sam Schwartz.

Sandoval met with the heads of major national banks to try to get some leeway for Nevadans who don't qualify for the federal programs like HARP or HAMP. Sandoval has asked the banks to make exceptions for Nevadans by extending the principal reductions from $25,000 to $50,000.

Nevada also has the Hardest Hit Funds. So far, 700 homeowners have received a total of $8 million.

"About $150 million was made available to help homeowners to reduce principal, make payments while they're unemployed or underemployed on their mortgages, help them in the event of a short sale, and help them eliminate second mortgages," said Terry Johnson, director for the Nevada Department of Business and Industry.

In addition to the website, Sandoval is hosting a workshop that will include representatives from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase. It will take place on March 9 and 10 at Cashman Center.


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