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.

Black & LoBello On the Radio

Click here to listen to the Legal Hour on KDWN AM720 from November 2nd, 2011 in which Managing Partner, Tisha Black Chernine, Esq., discusses buying foreclosed homes, different types of deeds, notice of default, Assembly Bill 284,  how to spot and clean up problems with a property title and Supreme Court cases that affect foreclosures.

Please tune in to AM720 KDWN’s “Legal Hour,” everyday, 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.

Black & LoBello on the Radio

Click here to listen to the Legal Hour on KDWN AM720 from September 28th, 2011 in which Managing Partner, Tisha Black Chernine, Esq., discusses the recent Case-Shiller report, the effects of  low housing prices, mortgage originators, how AB 273 affects deficiency judgments, how AB 284 affects how notice of defaults are processed, robo-signers, Barack Obama’s New Jobs Plan and federal regulations that regulate debt collection practices.

Please tune in to AM720 KDWN’s “Legal Hour,” everyday, 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.


The time when people once waited on a lottery to buy a home is long gone for Las Vegas. While this may be construed as stating the obvious, one thing that our mortgage crisis has spurred and is not often discussed is that we are now a city of renters. Many do not want to buy homes or simply cannot due to credit and other financial issues. Accordingly, the Las Vegas lessor and lessee must educate themselves about many things prior to picking their temporary abode. The main issues are checking a property’s status entering into a lease agreement, obtaining appropriate documents when leasing with an option to buy, and renting a home to a person currently in the process of buying a negative equity property.

Checking a Property Status Before Renting

When people held onto their “investment” properties for long periods of time and watched their property appreciate each day or week on Zillow, there was less concern that a rented house would be foreclosed upon. That is not the case anymore. As more people, investors included, default on their loans, it is important to determine if the property you are about to lease is only a few months away (or less) from foreclosure. While there are laws that protect renters, it is certainly preferable to know as much information as possibe prior to signing a lease, hiring movers and getting settled in your new house. For instance, you may want to request a statement from the property owner warranting that they are not currently in default. Go to the Clark County recorder’s website to determine if a notice of breach and election to sell has been recorded against the property.
In the event that the property you are renting does go to trustee sale, be aware that the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, as enacted by congress in 2009, offers tenants protections. A renter can remain in the house for 90 days after the trustee sale if the original lease term extends past that 90-day period. It should also be noted, a lender may hire a management company to rent the property to you, however this practice is uncommon.

Obtaining Appropriate Documents – Leasing With an Option to Buy

In taking efforts to repair credit or watch the market before a purchase, some lessees are looking to rent a property with the option to buy. While this might secure a rate in the event that the prices increase, or while it may afford the lessor some form of assurance that the property will be held by a party with an interest in staying there for a long time, this type of transaction is not as simple as one might think. In fact, it is important for all parties to consult with counsel to review documents and possibly draft new documents.

Leasing to the “Buyer” During a Short Sale

The short sale process is lengthy and considerably more tedious than most sellers and buyers anticipate. As a result of this protracted timeframe, it has become common for a buyer to request that they be allowed to rent the property before the short sale closes. This practice comes with a significant amount of risk. If you are in the process of a short sale and seek to “advance lease” the property to your buyer, you should be aware of those risks before signing up for what could amount to a tremendous headache. For example, if you lease the property to the buyer and then the lender approves the sale but provides no deficiency release on your loan, you may decide you would rather let the property go to foreclosure. Although you can allow this, now you have a renter living in the property, who may be angry that you are not allowing the sale to go through. In the alternative, you have a renter living in the home and the short sale cannot go through because the lender has countered and now the tenant/buyer is not willing to increase their purchase price. In this situation you have limited your ability to procure another buyer with a higher offer due to your renter/ex-buyer residing in the property. As such, you may end up losing the house to foreclosure.

The above issues are only stated in general facts and with hypothetical situations that may not apply to your particular situation. These are just some of the common problems seen in and around Las Vegas. Therefore, seeking the advice of a learned professional to assist you in these circumstances will only increase your chances of safeguarding your rights. While renting seems like a minor commitment to many who used to own properties, it still generally accounts for almost a third of your monthly income so protection of yourself and your family in these transactions remains vitally important.

Carlos L. McDade, Esq.
Kelle L. Kuebler, Attorney*
*Licensed only in New York and Connecticut


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.