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A quarter of Nevadans who lost homes strategically defaulted

Almost a quarter of Nevada residents who lost their homes to foreclosure walked away from them. A Nevada Association of Realtors (NVAR) Report found that 23 percent of homeowners strategically defaulted on mortgage loans. The report also found that most Nevadans facing foreclosure did not know about federal and nonprofit programs designed to help them.

Many of the people who went through foreclosure had experience at least two “life-altering events” that increase their risk of defaulting on a home mortgage. Losing a job and medical expenses were the most common events that triggered a foreclosure. Also, 46 percent of homeowners blamed banks and lenders for foreclosures, 20 percent blamed the government and 13 percent blamed homeowners.

Residents don’t know where to turn for help

Nevada has consistently had one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the U.S. With so much attention given to foreclosure during the housing crisis, it seems surprising that so many homeowners would be unaware of programs that can help them.

Linda Rheinberger, 2010 NVAR president, said in a statement:

“We think this research will help the public, the real estate industry, lawmakers and others grappling with this difficult issue. Personally, it was striking to see that nearly one in four Nevadans who lost homes to foreclosure admitted that they simply walked away from their mortgage. As for solutions, there may not be a single cure-all, but this report suggests that we can do more to make distressed homeowners aware of the free and low-cost resources available to them.”

Arranging a short sale

Among the alternatives to foreclosure is arranging a short sale. A short sale occurs when a mortgage lender agrees to allow you to sell a home for less than what is owed on a mortgage loan. The mortgage lender is able to recover some of the mortgage loan, and you, the homeowner, get out from under the burden of a mortgage you can’t afford.

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