RENO, Nev. Home prices have been increasing and the rate of foreclosures is slowing, but there are still many in our area struggling to recover from the housing crisis.
That is why the Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, along with Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, and economic analyst Jeremy Aguero are hosting a free event for homeowners to discuss Washoe County's housing market.
Aquero will be discussing current housing trends here in Northern Nevada as well as providing his outlook for the next year.
Cortez Masto says this is a good event for struggling homeowners who are trying to get back on their feet.
"Around the state, absolutely there's no doubt that it's starting to look better for us," she said. "It's starting to improve. But there's still many who are suffering. Because we were so hard hit when the crisis hit in 2007-2008, we're going to be one of the last states to come out of this cycle. So because we know there are so many homeowners who are still suffering, we want them to be aware of the program."
The program is Home Again: Nevada. It's a homeowner relief program designed by the Office of the Attorney General in the wake of the mortgage and foreclosure crisis to help people get back on their feet.
Since it began in 2013, Cortez Masto says they have helped over 17,000 homeowners, and they are looking to reach out to many more at Thursday night's event. .
"It's a free resource to homeowners," Cortez Masto said. "That's important and why I say that is because many of our homeowners who are in need are still trying to find assistance and they're getting taken advantage of by fraudsters. So people are still scamming them. So besides the door we have in my office to help homeowners, there's another door where we have victims coming through who are victims of criminal fraud."
Cortez Masto says her office is continuing to track down scammers, but the best way people can protect themselves is by being aware of the law.
"First of all, if it seems too good to be true than it is," she said.
If you are looking for mortgage help, Cortez Masto says be aware of people promising assistance, but asking for money up front. She says here in Nevada, the service must be provided first before you pay.
Also watch out for people guaranteeing they will save your home. That is illegal according to Cortez Masto ..
If you have questions or believe you've been a victim of fraud, you can contact the Attorney General's office or the Home Again: Nevada program. Program representatives from Home Again: Nevada will be on-site at the housing report event to answer questions and schedule follow-up appointments.
This event will also be beneficial for first time home buyers. With housing prices on the rise, it can become increasingly difficult to come up with the money for a down payment. Representatives from Home Again: Nevada may be able to tell people looking to buy if they are eligible for down payment assistance.
If you'd like to attend, the free event is tonight from 5-7pm at the Reno City Council Chambers located on East First Street in Downtown Reno.