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Need to Know, February 3, 2012: Foreclosures in Nevada, high-tech jobs

Ray Suarez

In the monthly “Help Wanted” special tied to the release of the national unemployment report, “Need to Know” visits Nevada on the eve of the Republican presidential caucuses and reports on the state’s enduring foreclosure problem. Nevada has had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for more than four years. The show interviews the state’s attorney general and examines why federal programs designed to alleviate the problem haven’t had greater impact.

Watch the individual segments:

Foreclosures in Nevada

Why haven’t federal efforts to stem the tide of foreclosures had a bigger impact? Need to Know travels to Nevada, on the eve of the GOP caucuses there, to examine the state with one of the worst foreclosure problems in the nation.

High-tech job training

“Need to Know” also looks at Nevada’s efforts to improve high-tech job training to attract jobs to the state.

American Voices: Marcos Villatoro

In ”American Voices,” Los Angeles essayist Marcos Villatoro argues that work creates happiness and says FDR’s decision to create the Civilian Conservation Corps saved a generation of unemployed Americans, including his own father.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.


  • Operababe5

    I can guess one reason why Nevada can’t attract high tech jobs:  the people who work in that industry like a city and state with great cultural offerings.  The show girls and gambling joints that make up Nevada’s equivalent of cultural offerings simply don’t cut it.  It has been proven in city after city that to attract the best and brightest, you need a good symphony, plenty of repertory theaters, a fine art museum, and the smaller venues that feed into them.  Nevada has very little to offer in the way of fine arts.  Big surprise:  it is a state whose primary businesses were started by gangsters.  That isn’t to say it doesn’t have its beauties, it does.  There is great beauty and power in Death Valley, deep rock miners working in the gold mines, vast open deserts, and the gorgeous Red Rock Canyon.  But cultural attractions? Very little, I’m afraid.

  • Bob G

    The homeowner profiled was not very sympathetic.  With an income of $135K she should’ve purchased a home for $450K not $800K. She was overextended to start with.  I believe in government, but there is a limit to how much stupidity it can protect one from.

  • Charles Blim

    Stop propping up dead beat lyre lone people that live for years in a house with out making a payment.
    Let the market correct. Every thing in the world will sell to some one at the market price. Foreclose and let the house sell for what the market says it is worth. If one agrees to pay a mortgage  for an amount and does not pay. FORECLOSE and sell the house to some one that will pay the monthly payment.

    Does the government ever say OH this poor fellow can not pay his meager rent payment so tell the land lord to cut his rent in half??? Let the b—tards go rent a house. Let them buy a cheeper house.

    F our government that only helps the well to do!!!!!

  • Matthew Barbaro

    This week’s TV segment on Foreclosures in Nevada highlighted the misfortunes of a Ms. Martino who lost her $135,000 per annum job and then her $800,000 “dream house” on which she owed a mortgage of $600,000.  Ms. Martino was very critical and “mad” about the federal refinancing program and the bureaucratic runaround she received from her lender.  Did it ever occur to her that she may have made an imprudent decision and over-extended herself when she decided to purchase her mansion with a $600,000 morgage?  Doesn’t she bear responsibility for that decision?  Why should she be bailed out at taxpayer expense for the consequences of her imprudent investment decision?  I earn about the same salary as Ms. Martino but would never consider purchasing such a large and luxurious home.  It simply is not necessary, and I wouldn’t be able to sleep soundly with a mortgage of $600,000 hanging over me.  Why can’t people accept the consequences of their own behavior, instead of blaming others and looking for sympathy?  No tears shed from this writer/  

  • Coalburner9

    NO!  Many reasons, It is taking from those who were astute with their money and giving to those who were not.  They will learn nothing if they are bailed out.  Look at the most educatied people in the world running the giant banks of the western world.  Failed but bailed and learned nothing but repeat the same process.  If the government keeps meddling this depession will be disasterous depression and last 25 years instead of ten years.  The failed bubble must bottom before we can recover.  The bottom keeps getting deeper with these bailouts taking another group of owners every round.  The money goes mostly help banks who caused the problem.  Let them fail as quickly as possible so this can be stopped.

  • Dapurdy

    The problem was created by the over-zealous banks and propagated by Wall Street crooks and the bad loan packages (little or no documentation) were approved by the rarings agency; the same people who cut the US rating to B+. Why hasn’t congress questioned someone at S&P and Moody’s about why they rated these worthless packages?

  • jose

    This is the result of the government forcing banks to loan money to people who did not qualify to own a home

  • Stewart Warren

    Whether the government pressured banks to make loans to “everybody” or not doesn’t change the fact that Wall Street has commited major criminal fraud. If making mortgage money available with zero credit standards and no money down, then selling those loans to investors as safe investments, while secretly buying trillions of dollars worth of credit-default swaps that profit from the mortgages collapsing, at the same time you’re raising interest rates and tightening lending standards to create the collapse isn’t criminal fraud, then what is? Obama’s administration not prosecuting these crimes makes them either incompetent or complicit, take your pick. Millions of American families have paid an unimaginable price for this monumental failure of justice.

  • JS

    Great story but I think you are greatly understating the problem.

    The HAMP program was designed to help MBS investors, NOT homeowners.  It’s a scam! Knowing that helping a few homeowners would be an unintended byproduct of the program, the Administration seized on the opportunity to advertise HAMP as a noble effort to help homeowners.

    I sound like a crazy discontent, don’t I ?   

    But consider that HAMP didn’t help underwater homeowners because it didn’t require banks to take a write-down, AND here’s the telltale, less publicized fact; Homeowners with any sizeable equity (those LEAST likely to re-default, often seniors who paid into their mortgages for years) are categorically denied!  The seldom seen FDIC HAMP guidelines state on page 3 that the program

    “MANDATE that the cost of a modification must be less than the estimated foreclosure loss.”  

    This means that homeowners with substantial equity are categorically denied modifications. The cash flow (for Banks/MBS investors) from a foreclosure is great if the homeowner has equity because the bank taps that equity to collect all arrears as well as lucrative added penalties and fees.  Foreclosure on a homeowner with equity is a very profitable proposition for the bank… and one MANDATED by our government! WOW!

    To make matters worse, the pre-qualifications page on the HAMP web site and the banks’ web sites didn’t even ask about equity, so they lured homeowners into HAMP, and HAMP trial payments when it was known from the start that they were excluded! 

    Now, to add insult to injury, the President in his SOTU address said he was proposing new help for responsible homeowners. The word “responsible” is key. It’s code for those who haven’t fallen behind ion their payments. So, according to the President, no matter the reason you may have fallen behind on mortgage payments; loss of a job, death of a spouse, serious illness; no matter your personal situation; such as seniors who have paid into their mortgages for years, and families with small children, you are IRRESPONSIBLE (and can go to HELL!)

    By contrast, take a look at the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) of the 1930′s. The government offered direct refinancing at current low rates and saved a million homeowners.  The HOLC was a LEGITIMATE effort to help HOMEOWNERS.  They even knocked on the doors homeowners who were behind on their payments to offer help!

    Regarding HAMP, the banks horrible processing of loan mod requests, and the AG’s settlement…. as they say, “if it looks like a fish, and smells like a fish…..”

  • JS

    Certainly the homeowner bears some responsibility, but banks are certainly culpable… creating the bubble with fraudulent inflated appraisals that gave homeowners like Ms. Martino a false sense of a good investment, fraudulent ratings of mortgage backed securities, gutting of their own underwriting practices, failure to abide by their own securitization contracts, failure to follow long-standing property laws to maintain proper chain of title, dishonest handling of loan modification requests. 

    As stated in the story some homeowners can’t qualify for a modification, but they do deserve a timely answer instead of a run around that lasts for months or even years while the servicing banks rack up addtional fees and penalties.

    Also, keep in mind that Ms. Martino isn’t the only one who loses if her house is lost to foreclosure.  Every house in the neighborhood takes a big hit.  If we can give the very banks that caused this whole mess almost interest free loans, why can’t we give homeowners the same opportunity, saving them from foreclosure and saving neighborhoods? 

  • JS


    The government didn’t force the banks to gut their underwriting procedures, use fraudulent appraisals, ignore long-standing property laws screwwing up chain of title of millions of homes, ignore their own securitization contracts disqualifying their tax free REMIC status, force the rating agencies to provide false Triple-A or Alt-A ratings while making bets against the very same mortgage backed securities.

    What the governement DID fail to do is REGULATE!  (As now admitted by Alan Greenspan)

    And btw.. the government that that you claim ‘forced’ the banks to make bad loans, is owned and operated by the banks!  Look at just 2 clear examples. See Bill Moyers recent inverview with former chairman of Citibank and how they repealed Glass-Steagall, and watch the Frontline episode about Brooksley Born, and how our bank-owned government stopped her from regulating…

  • D&T

    Your coverage of the inability of home buyers to get banks to restructure their loans resonated with us. Around August of 2010 we responded to multiple invitations from our mortgage bank (Wells Fargo) to apply for a lower rate on the mortgage of our summer home. Having excellent credit and ample assets, we were assurred that we would have no trouble whatsoever in being approved. So we applied. We then forthwith provided every bit of requested information, only to have to resubmit most of it multiple additional times, along with much more information than we were initially told would be required. The delays went on, with follow-up phone calls and emails after follow-up phone calls and emails. The application got passed seemingly all over the country, from one place within Wells Fargo to another. We finally became totally disgusted with the process and just paid off the remaining $70-some-thousand as a lump sum. Then, an entire month after the total paydown, we received the slap-in-the-face response that our application had been denied, due to insufficient whatever. We hadn’t even sought to restructure the loan to the lower rate untill having received multiple invitations from Wells Fargo, and then having been assurred that, given our very stable and substantial financial situation, there would be no question as to the approval of an application for a lower rate mortgage loan. We have been banking with Wells Fargo (including banks acquired by them) with the same banking account number since 1971. What a joke.

    We would be happy to supply our identity and complete documentation of our back-and-forth interactions with Wells Fargo if it would be helpful in exposing this banking scam.


  • TMB

    what does fine arts have to do with banking and mortgages???  did you watch the same show???

  • TMB

    People have things happen in their lives and that doesn’t mean they want to lose their homes.  I have been working with Bank Of America for the last 6 months on a modification.  They have been doing nothing but jerking my chain.  I have repeatedly had to send documentation after documentation.  I was originally told 4-6 weeks.  Now going on 6 months with nothing resolved yet.  In the beginning I could have kept my house, but now with the late fees, lawyer fees for foreclosure and penalties, I see no light at the end of my tunnel.  I never intended to not pay my debt to this bank, I just asked for a slight reprieve due to some crappy things that happened to me.   With all the bail outs our government has given these banks,  where are the bailouts for the homeowners who want to keep their homes and have every intention of paying the mortgages??  Maybe the HAMP program was a great idea to begin with, but the banks are barely doing what they need to do to make this program work.

  • Leo slobodin

    It seems to me that nearly all your program topics discuss the political self destruction and other horrors of human nature. This presents a thoroughly pessimistic view of the world. One almost has tio take a sedative prior to watching. I think your topics should include some happy events possibly involving technical progress, medical and other discoveries, the world of art, music, writing and generally promising events. I think you will thereby increase your viewership and leave a more fruitful outlook on life.
    Leo Slobodin