Following recent discussions in Washington D.C. with U.S. Treasury Officials, the Ministry of Finance announces the formation of a new task force to evaluate the suitability of a government-to-government reporting arrangement for the implementation of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in the Cayman Islands.  Click here to read the full article.

One of the most recent efforts to bring the big banks to task over their role in the nation’s real estate crisis is a New York lawsuit, Abel v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP et al, alleging international money laundering by Bank of America as well as other major federally chartered banks.  The lawsuit alleges that Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Citigroup, 1 West and Wells Fargo have been moving trillions of dollars into offshore accounts without properly disclosing those transactions on their balance sheets.

When a property forecloses and sells in a Trustee sale, the servicer of the loan takes its fees for servicing the foreclosure as well as other fees.  The remaining funds from the sale are supposed to go to the new owner of the loan.  Finally, the old debt is supposed to be discharged.  However, the big banks are being accused of diverting that remaining money into off-shore accounts which earn interest.  Meanwhile, they are NOT crediting the previous loan and discharging the debt.

In their defense, the banks claim that since they don’t know who the new investors are, they can’t pay them the money while conveniently earning interest off those investments.  Ironically, that same argument has been used by struggling homeowners who want to mediate their loans to avoid foreclosure.  In typical fashion, where the homeowner suffers, the banks profit.

Transferring money to offshore accounts is not illegal if done correctly.  However, by not fully disclosing the transfers and failing to discharge the old debts, the banks may be in violation of money laundering statutes and the Patriot Act.

This case brings to the forefront yet another aspect of how sloppy paperwork and accounting has been a standard business practice of the big banks.

Tisha Black Chernine, Esq.

Tune in as Black & LoBello offers free legal advice on a wide range of topics

Click here to listen to the Legal Hour on KDWN AM720 from May 2nd, 2012 in which Managing Partner, Tisha Black Chernine, Esq., hosts special guest, Jeffrey Morse, Esq., Special Counsel to Withers Worldwide.  Ms. Black Chernine and Mr. Morse discuss Abel v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP et al, a current case in New York alleging that banks are laundering money overseas (2:15), problems with the stress tests for the major banks (12:40), tips for investment including real estate and offshore accounts (16:40), how to check house foreclosures (21:27), real estate agent unfair practices (25:30),  problems getting a loan modifications (29:30) and tips for successful asset protection (34:40).

Please tune in to AM720 KDWN’s “Legal Hour,” every Wednesday, from 9 AM to 10 AM.  Listen live on the radio or online.   Feel free to call in with your comments or questions at 702-257-5396.

To listen to past shows, visit our Media page.

One of the main dysfunctions that led to Nevada’s real estate crisis lies in how the paperwork was handled when transferring ownership of a property from one person to another.  During the housing bubble, paperwork was pushed through so fast that critical errors occurred that could affect the marketability or ownership of many properties.  During good times, nobody complained because housing values were rising steadily and people could make money easily by selling or “flipping” properties quickly.  However, now that the bubble has burst leaving people stuck in underwater homes, unable to make payments, and with foreclosure looming; the process of transferring ownership or “chain of title” has come under scrutiny.  Nevada’s new legislation, specifically AB 284, forces foreclosing lenders to provide some additional documentation to proceed with more diligence.  Homeowners should do their best to become aware of and comfortable with the property records recorded against their property, especially in default.  This information is important to ensure that defaulting homeowners are dealing with the proper parties and apprised of any discrepancies that may be useful through the short sale, loan modification, or foreclosure process.  Fortunately for the homeowner, this information is readily available, as follows.

Simple instructions to view your  property records or “chain of title.”

(1)    Obtain Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) from the Clark County Assessor’s website.

  1. Click “Property Records” on the left-hand side.
  2. Click “Owner Name” in the middle of the page.
  3. Enter the homeowner’s proper first and last name as they would appear on the deed.  Click “Search.”
  4. From the property records provided, find the homeowner’s name and click on the Parcel Number.
  5. This will give you the Real Property Parcel Record.   Make sure the property address is correct and copy down the Parcel Number.

 (2)    Now that you have your APN, you can obtain your chain of title by visiting the Clark County Recorder’s website.

  1. Click “Search Records” on the left-hand side.
  2. Click “Parcel #.”
  3. Enter your APN in the “Parcel #” field at the top and click “Search.”

The resulting page should include a list of documents recorded against the property including deeds, homesteads, deeds of trust (Nevada’s typical type of “mortgage”), liens, and foreclosure notices (Notices of Default/Notices of Sale, etc.).*  A sample Clark County Recorder’s Page is pictured below.


*While this is a good place to look for discrepancies, this information may not always be up-to-date or even accurate.  It is possible that the County Recorder’s webpage does not reflect all or even the latest developments in a particular property’s ownership.  Other difficulties may arise if documents were not recorded, or the property was substituted or reconveyed to/from Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc. (MERS), the third-party deed recording company formed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Its records are not open to the public and may not be visible on the County Recorder’s webpage.  Many other circumstances exist in which the steps above may not provide an accurate account of all recordings on a particular property and, as stated in the Notice below, the information found herein or on the websites referenced above should not be relied upon without separate and appropriate advise of counsel.  Nevertheless, the process described above is a good start and can help homeowners stay informed as to the overall status of their property.

Tisha Black Chernine, Esq.


The information contained on this website is designed to enable you to learn more about the services that Black & LoBello offers to its clients. These materials do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice, nor are they intended as a source of advertising or solicitation. Your use of this website does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship. You should not consider these materials to be an invitation for an attorney-client relationship. Further, you should not rely on the information provided on this website without first obtaining separate legal advice.

Tisha Black Chernine awarded for
Mountain States Rising Stars 2011

Michele T. LoBello awarded for 
Nevada Super Lawyers 2007

Black & LoBello is an AV® Preeminent rated, locally owned, full service law firm in Las Vegas, Nevada.