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Bank of America Can Proceed With Nevada Foreclosures, Judge Says

A unit of Bank of America Corp., after defeating a Nevada court order that halted nonjudicial foreclosures in the state, can proceed with home seizures, a federal judge said.

U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Las Vegas dissolved a state-court order blocking Bank of America’s ReconTrust Co. N.A. from conducting foreclosures that don’t require court supervision, according to an order issued yesterday.

Hunt said Suzanne North, the homeowner who won the order freezing foreclosures, didn’t show a likelihood of success in her lawsuit against Bank of America because “this court has repeatedly ruled against claims such as those the plaintiff brings.”

John Christian Barlow, North’s lawyer, said in an e-mail, “The federal court issued a ruling without giving the Norths the opportunity to present the merits of their case.”

State court Judge Robert W. Lane in Nye County, Nevada, issued a preliminary order halting ReconTrust foreclosures on Jan. 20. Bank of America went to federal court to overturn the ruling. In a Jan. 27 court filing, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank called Lane’s order “shockingly expansive” and said 8,920 loans were affected by it.

“Notwithstanding its multiple facial flaws, the order has created enormous upheaval and confusion in the foreclosure process across Nevada and immediate review is required,” Bank of America said in court papers.

Jumana Bauwens, a Bank of America spokeswoman, said the bank was pleased with the ruling.

“Our first priority is to help our customers remain in their homes,” Bauwens said in an e-mail. “However, when it becomes necessary to engage in the foreclosure process, it is Bank of America’s and its related affiliates’ policy to handle foreclosures in compliance with applicable laws.”

The case is North v. Bank of America, 11-00136, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada (Las Vegas).

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