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Renfroe v. Lakeview Loan Servicing, LLC

Supreme Court of Nevada

July 27, 2017

KENNETH RENFROE, Appellant,
v.
LAKEVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Respondent.

         Appeal from a district court order dismissing an action to quiet title. Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County; Douglas W. Herndon, Judge.

          Noggle Law, PLLC, and Robert B. Noggle, Las Vegas, for Appellant.

          Akerman, LLP, and Darren T. Brenner and Natalie L. Winslow, Las Vegas, for Respondent.

         BEFORE THE COURT EN BANC.

          OPINION

          STIGLICH, J.:

         NRS 116.3116 provides homeowners' associations (HOAs) a superpriority lien on up to nine months of unpaid HO A dues. In SFR Investments Pool 1 v. U.S. Bank, this court concluded that a lien pursuant to NRS 116.3116 is "a true priority lien such that its foreclosure extinguishes a first deed of trust on the property." 130 Nev., Adv. Op. 75, 334 P.3d 408, 409 (2014). The primary issue presented in this case is whether the provisions of NRS 116.3116 are preempted by federal law when the first deed of trust on the property is insured through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). We conclude that because the FHA insurance program specifically contemplates that lenders may be subject to superpriority liens such as those provided in NRS 116.3116, the preemption doctrine does not apply in these circumstances.

         BACKGROUND

         Homeowners Brian and Jennifer Ferguson bought a home in Las Vegas in 2008 using a mortgage insured through the FHA insurance program. The promissory note and deed of trust were eventually assigned to respondent Lakeview Loan Servicing, LLC (Lakeview).

         In 2013, the Fergusons' HOA initiated foreclosure proceedings pursuant to NRS 116.3116. Appellant Kenneth Renfroe purchased the property at a foreclosure sale on April 18, 2014. Renfroe subsequently filed suit to quiet title to the property.

         Lakeview filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the NRS Chapter 116 foreclosure sale of federally insured property was void under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. The district court granted the motion. Renfroe appeals.

         DISCUSSION

          Preemption doctrine

         The preemption doctrine stems from the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, which provides:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the ...

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