Nevada AG outlines aid for distressed homeowners
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada's state attorney general and the head of a Las Vegas nonprofit consumer counseling agency unveiled a program and an advertising campaign Monday aimed at giving distressed homeowners facing foreclosure a free one-stop place to seek counseling, referrals and legal support.
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto expressed frustration with the pace of aid to displaced homeowners hurt most in the state hardest hit during the recession by foreclosures, bankruptcies and unemployment.
"There are people who are suffering in our state — homeowners, borrowers — and they don't know where to go," Masto told reporters.
Masto and Michele Johnson, head of the nonprofit Financial Guidance Center in Las Vegas said residents will begin seeing television, print and brochure advertising in English and Spanish inviting people to contact the statewide homeowner aid program called "Home Again."
Johnson said the idea is for counselors who know programs that are available to guide borrowers to programs that can help.
Entities taking part include Nevada Legal Services and the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and federal Housing and Urban Development-approved agencies such as Housing for Nevada, the Women's Development Center, Community Services of Nevada, Neighborhood Housing Services, Novadebt, Springboard and Chicanos Por La Causa.
Masto acknowledged the difficulty of reaching displaced homeowners whose addresses change when they are forced to move.
She said the program hopes to reach Nevada residents facing foreclosure or who have lost their homes, as well as those seeking loan modifications or who are current but underwater on their home loans. It will also help people who are working toward home ownership.
"It doesn't make sense to bring together this wonderful consortium to help homeowners if homeowners don't know it exists," she said.