The Nevada Legislature's Interim Finance Committee passed an $11.7 million proposal to address mortgage fraud and the state's foreclosure crisis, attorney general ""Catherine Cortez Masto"":http://ag.state.nv.us/ announced Friday.[IMAGE]
The proposal outlines the first part of a three-year, estimated $33.5 million dollar program that uses part of Nevada's share of the national mortgage settlement to help struggling homeowners.
The first leg of the program is designed to help Nevadans by setting up a dedicated call center to route callers to train housing counselors for help.[COLUMN_BREAK]
""Nevada has been devastated by the mortgage fraud and foreclosure crisis,"" Masto said. ""The Nevada Attorney General's National Mortgage Settlement Plan will offer much-needed help for families in the Silver State by investing in broad-scale state-wide initiatives, essentially a one-stop-shop, which will assist distressed borrowers free of charge.""
Masto's office is working the HUD housing counseling agencies, community stakeholders, elected officials, and a number of state legal service providers and guidance centers to develop and implement additional plans for the settlement funds.
The legislative committee passed funding for the first year of Masto's three-program. In the next legislative session, Masto will request a review of the program to see if changes are necessary and to continue funding based on need.
Other goals of the program include: Enhancing counseling agency services and efforts to provide financial literacy programs; strengthening legal aid to assist homeowner foreclosure mediation efforts; and supporting law enforcement efforts to investigate, prosecute, and prevent financial fraud or unfair or deceptive practices.
For now, the attorney general expects the help hotline to serve as a good first step.
""This call center will serve as a hotline to help and hope,"" Masto said.