In Nevada, a foreclosing lender can fast track (expedite) a nonjudicial foreclosure if you abandon (permanently leave) your home. Read on to learn more about how Nevada foreclosures typically work, how this process can be shortened if you abandon the home, and how you can stop the lender from speeding up the foreclosure if you still occupy the property.
How Nevada Foreclosures Work
Most residential foreclosures in Nevada are nonjudicial, which means the foreclosure takes place outside of court.
To start a nonjudicial foreclosure, the trustee (the third party that administers nonjudicial foreclosures in Nevada) records a notice of default and election to sell in the county records and sends a copy to the borrower. The notice provides the borrower with three months to cure the default. After the three-month period expires, the trustee records a notice of sale and sends a copy to the borrower 20 days before sale, among other things. (To learn more about Nevada foreclosure laws, visit Nolo’s Nevada Foreclosure Law Center.)
Effective through June 30, 2017, the foreclosing party can elect to shorten the three-month period to 60 days in cases where the borrower has abandoned the home.
How the Foreclosing Lender Gets a Fast-Track Foreclosure in Nevada
When the lender has a reasonable belief that the homeowner has left the home, it can request that an inspector visit the home to determine if it is vacant. The inspector must be an agency or contractor designated by the board of county commissioners or a local governmental body. The inspector may inspect the exterior of the property only, not the interior.
If the inspector determines that the property is unoccupied, he or she will mail a notice to the borrower and post a notice on the front door. The notice gives the borrower (or any lawful occupant) 30 days to let the inspector know that the home is not vacant. If the homeowner or another lawful occupant of the home does not contact the inspector within the 30 days, the inspector will give the lender a certification that the house is abandoned.
To pursue the fast-track process, the lender must then record the certification with the county recorder along with:
- the notice of default and election to sell, and
- an affidavit that sets forth the facts showing abandonment.
What constitutes abandonment? To meet the definition of “abandoned” under Nevada law, the property must be unoccupied and meet certain other criteria such as the utilities are off and the owner is not currently in the military, among other things. The property must also meet at least two of the following indicators of abandonment.
- Construction was started and discontinued before completion, leaving the building unsuitable for occupancy, and no construction has taken place for at least six months.
- Multiple windows are boarded up, closed off, smashed through, broken, or unhinged and unrepaired.
- Doors to the home are smashed through, broken off, unhinged, or continuously unlocked.
- The home has been stripped of copper or other materials, or interior fixtures to the property have been removed.
- Law enforcement officials have received at least one report of trespassing or vandalism or another illegal act at the home within the preceding six months.
- A municipal or county authority or a court has declared the home unfit for occupancy and ordered that it remain vacant.
- The local police, fire, or code enforcement authority has requested that the owner secure the home because the local authority has declared it to be an imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
- The home is open and unprotected and in reasonable danger of significant damage resulting from exposure to the elements or vandalism.
The lender can also establish abandonment if the borrower says, in writing, that he or she has vacated the home or sends the keys to the lender.
How to Fight the Fast-Track Foreclosure
To stop the fast-track foreclosure, the borrower must:
- record an affidavit in the county recorder's office at any time before the sale stating that the home is not abandoned, and
- mail a copy to the lender and trustee by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.
At this point, the lender and trustee must stop the fast-track foreclosure. (Learn more general information about How to Protect Yourself from a Fast-Track Foreclosure of an "Abandoned" Home.)
Situations When the Lender Can’t Get a Fast Track Foreclosure of an Empty Home
The lender cannot expedite the foreclosure of a vacant home if any of the following situations apply to the property.
- There is construction, renovation, or rehabilitation on the home that is proceeding diligently to completion.
- The home is occupied on a seasonal basis and is secure (meaning, the home is locked, there are no broken windows, etc.)
- There are rental or “for sale” signs displayed on the home (or the home is listed on a Multiple Listing Service) and the home is secure.
- The home is secure and is the subject of a probate action, action to quiet title, or any other ownership dispute.
When to Hire an Attorney
If you are facing an improper fast-track foreclosure, the procedure to halt it is rather straightforward in Nevada. However, if you don’t understand how to prepare the required affidavit or where to file it, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced Nevada foreclosure attorney to help you stop the fast-track process. (Learn more about how to find and hire an attorney in Nolo’s Foreclosure Lawyers & Other Foreclosure Help area.)
Where to Find Nevada’s Fast-Track Foreclosure Laws
To find the statutes that discuss the lender’s right to expedite the foreclosure of an abandoned home in Nevada, go to Chapter 107, Sections 107.080 and 107.130 of the Nevada Revised Statutes.