As you may know Assembly Bill 284 took affect on 10/1/2011 and requires that lenders have proof of ownership prior to filing a Notice of Default on delinquent mortgages in Nevada. This legislation intended to put an end to the nasty “robo-signing” issue. Well it certainly has done that and then some. We’re nearly three months into this and NOD’s have virtually come to a halt.  Is this what our legislators intended? I hope not….

First of all, is this legislation a direct challenge to MERS? (the Mortgage Electronic Registration System). An explanation of that system follows below and has been copied directly from their web-site:

MERS is an innovative process that simplifies the way mortgage ownership and servicing rights are originated, sold and tracked. Created by the real estate finance industry, MERS eliminates the need to prepare and record assignments when trading residential and commercial mortgage loans.

Simply put, MERS allows banks and investors to exchange mortgages without the typical title and escrow work we’re all familiar with when we buy, sell or refinance our homes. While your home may have stayed with you all these years, your mortgage has likely changed hands many times. This system has served the banks well for many years. However, at this point bankers are clearly lacking in confidence when it comes to risking a felony offense.

Secondly, this will no doubt have an affect on housing inventory in Nevada. At some point in the near future the inventory of available bank owned homes will drop dramatically. Short sale home sellers may delay their plans. Why rush to sell short if the lender isn’t going to rush to foreclose? I’m very concerned that this will create a false sense of demand in the market. Prices may rise due to scarcity but there’s no doubt reality will roar into the market someday soon.

Last but not least, why would any bank want to lend in Nevada? Let’s think about this… High unemployment, declining home values, state mandated foreclosure mediation and now this. Seriously, I’m no big fan of the banks but common sense would seem to dictate that Nevada is not a great place for banks to do mortgage business. Home financing is already tough in our market. No doubt this will only make things tougher in the long run.

Let’s hope our legislators do a little more homework before they pas the next round of laws intended to protect us all.