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Frustrated Homeowner Takes his Bank to Court | Housing

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Frustrated Homeowner Takes his Bank to Court
Housing

One frustrated homeowner is using a new law to take his bank to court because he says his bank refused to work out a loan modification with him.

The law allows any homeowner going into foreclosure to force their mortgage lender to try mediation first. Under the law, if the mediator finds that the bank did not come to the table in good faith, the case moves to district court for sanctions.

Homeowners frustrated with their lender now have one more way to fight back and avoid foreclosure. The law is called the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program.

The attorney for Chase Bank was clearly not happy to be in court Thursday morning. Homeowner Raul Cardenas has been fighting since last December to stay in his home. Chase Bank holds his mortgage. 

Cardenas bought his dream house in the northwest part of the valley for his wife and four young boys in 2006. Now, his home is worth half of what he paid for it and he has lost one of his two jobs.

"It's a lot of stress on top of the frustration. A lot of times I wake up in the morning like 2, 3 o'clock in the morning thinking how much longer I am going to be able to stay in my house?" Cardenas says the bank originally told him there was nothing they could do. He either had to make payments or face foreclosure.

Cardenas decided to fight. He turned to attorney Lindsay Stadtlander to maneuver the process for a loan modification.

"We have banks. They heckle us. They hang up on us. They shred documents that we send them for clients," claims Stadtlander.

Nevada's new law forces the banks to mediation. Chase's attorney argued that the law only says they have to show up and exchange information, nothing more.

"A permanent loan modification and a principal reduction are not mandates. They cannot mandate because that would be constitutional violations," said Shadd Wade, Chase Bank's attorney.

The mediator in Cardenas' case found the bank did not come to the table in good faith.

"We just want a resolution. Mr. Cardenas wants to keep his home and it's frustrating that the bank just continues to snub us and not want to cooperate or work with us," said Stadtlander.

"I am trying to save my home and keep my kids there, my wife as well," Cardenas said.

The judge decided there was enough to go forward to a sanction hearing against Chase Bank but he did tell both sides to go back to mediation. Judge Donald Mosley says the two sides should work out a modification agreement. If they can not do that, a sanction hearing has been set for Nov. 13th.

 

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