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The U.S. Capitol at sunset on November 25, 2007. (Courtesy/vgm8383 under Creative Commons)

Members of the state’s congressional delegation wrote to Nevada’s leading mortgage services Wednesday asking that they work with homeowners who lose their income as a result of the coronavirus containment measures to allow them to stay in their homes. 

“As leaders in the mortgage industry, we ask that you do everything in your power to assist individuals and families in Nevada who are impacted by the recent pandemic,” the letter said. “As Nevadans may face reduced hours, layoffs, social distancing, and quarantines, they may also encounter substantial financial burdens.”

“Importantly, should the issue arise, we would ask that you not initiate or finalize any legal foreclosure proceedings that would lead to a patient, impacted individual, or their family’s eviction during the pandemic,” the letter continued.

The Silver State is no stranger to economic hardship. In the throes of the Great Recession, a little over a decade ago, Nevada ranked among the states with the highest foreclosure rates.

Signed by Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen as well as all House members, including Republican Rep. Mark Amodei—the letter comes after Gov. Steve Sisolak Tuesday ordered a 30-day shutdown of all non-essential businesses in the state.

States around the nation are taking similar actions to keep the virus, and the illness it causes, COVID-19, from spreading too quickly, thereby overwhelming the nation’s medical resources.

Containment efforts are expected to cripple the economy and companies big and small to lay off and furlough workers, who, in turn, will have difficulty paying the mortgages.

“If individuals have difficulty with future mortgage or other loan payments, we ask that you would work with those individuals to offer tailored solutions, which could include waiving fees and penalties or offering forbearance plans and loan modifications to help ensure that their financial wellbeing is taken care of,” the letter said. “We also ask that you consider offering assistance that would allow homeowners to remain in their homes after the economic shock is over.”

The letter is addressed to the top servicers in Nevada which are: Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America, Mr. Cooper, Ocwen Financial Corporation, Citi, US Bank Home Mortgage, Walter Investment Management, PHH Mortgage, and Quicken Loans.

The delegation also asked that lenders streamline documentation requests and paperwork burdens for affected borrowers because many will not have access to records from businesses that have been shuttered.

“Individuals recovering from COVID-19, or those who are impacted by the virus’s effect on the economy should not have to worry about foreclosures, late fees, negative credit reports, or any other financial burdens that may exacerbate the tremendous stress caused by this pandemic,” the letter said.

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