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Housing

Program to Offer Incentives for Short Sale Homes

A new effort that hopes to speed up the process of selling your home if it's worth more than you owe is underway.

The Obama Administration's program will give $3,000 for moving expenses to homeowners who complete a short sale or agree to turn over the deed of their property to the lender.

Under the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program, borrowers will get the relocation incentive.  Servicers, investors and second lien holders will also get incentives as well. 

Once homeowners come to their lenders with bonafide offers, they'll have to be accepted within 10 days. 

Crowd Rallies Against Developer's Red Rock Plan

LAS VEGAS -- A crowd turned out for a town hall meeting on a prominent developer's proposal to build houses, shops and maybe even a school on a hill overlooking a popular conservation area outside Las Vegas.

Most of the 200 people at the Blue Diamond community center on Wednesday showed opposition to Jim Rhodes' effort to build on a 2,400-acre site across from the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Many say they're upset Rhodes is resurrecting development plans for Blue Diamond Hill five years after his earlier proposal to build 5,500 homes on the former gypsum mining site fizzled.

Clark County commissioners are set to review Rhodes' new proposal April 21. Rhodes and the county are also locked in a lawsuit over density regulations in his earlier proposal.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

More Homeowners Falling Delinquent on Mortgages

LAS VEGAS -- The number of Southern Nevada homeowners delinquent on their mortgage payments has climbed steadily for the past several months. In some cases, it's people just willing to walk away from their homes, and in other cases, homeowners are holding out hope that they will get a loan modification.

In any given neighborhood, chances are good that a homeowner is the process of walking away from their mortgage. In the past, five months was typically the longest a homeowner could stay in their home until the bank would come knocking. But that is no longer the case.

Nick Nolf with The Nolf Group has been in the real estate business through the boom, the bust, and now the slow turn-around.

More than $19 Million in Unclaimed Tax Refunds

LAS VEGAS -- The IRS has more than $19 million in unclaimed refunds for Nevada taxpayers and the deadline to claim the money is nearing.

According to the IRS, the refunds are for people who did not file a tax return for 2006. The owed money equates to a median refund of about $575 for 19,000 taxpayers.

"There is about $19 million for about 19,400 Nevadans. The window of opportunity to claim this money is about to expire and they really need to act," said Jesse Weller, IRS.

To collect the money, a 2006 tax return must be filed by April 15, 2010.

"Why should I just let it go to the IRS?" said Steven Hansen a taxpayer who made the mistake of doing that once before. He's learned his lesson, and today it's a much different story.

"That could've been money for anything medical bills, even my rent."

Rain Bring Big Business to Roofing Companies

LAS VEGAS -- This year's rainstorms have hurt Nevada's economy in some ways --tourism is affected and business travel disrupted. But Las Vegas roofing businesses are actually doing well. In fact, they're hiring dozens of unemployed workers.

Home and business owners are discovering new leaks after every rainstorm. Licensed contractors are seeing a surge in business that's getting nearly doubling their staff. But that's also creating an opening for unlicensed contractors.

Joyce Rose looks at her roof and is surprised the rain caused so much damage to her home.

"Walked into the house and saw this plaster on the floor. I don't know what I thought had happened. I didn't think of the ceiling falling down," she said. "We just forgot about it because it hardly ever rains. This time it really came down."

Roofers are thankful for recent rainstorms that keeps them in demand.

Frustrated Homeowner Takes his Bank to Court

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.