Thousands Evicted Everyday in Las Vegas - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Thousands Evicted Everyday in Las Vegas

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John Potter
Channel 2 News

A new report by Realty-Trac shows Nevada continues to have the nation's highest foreclosure rate - one in every 115 housing units was foreclosed on in July.

It's a scene repeated again and again, day after day across Las Vegas.

Sgt. Patrick Geary: "Hello?"

Man: "Hello."

Sgt. Geary: "Why didn't you open the door?"

Man: "I just came downstairs right now."

Sgt. Geary: "Ok, well, we knocked on the door."

Man: "Sorry, I didn't hear it."  

The two deputies with the Las Vegas Constable's Office then enforce a judge's order on the foreclosed home. "We're serving an eviction notice on you," says Sgt. Geary. "You have to get a change of clothes, stuff like that, and take off in about 15 minutes."

Man: "Well, I have my son upstairs right now. He's sleeping."

Sgt. Geary: "Ok, well you need to wake him up."

The young couple and their son have only the time it takes a locksmith to change the locks -- to grab what they can. They lost the house after falling behind on their payments and they'll have to make arrangements with the bank to come back for the rest of their belongings.

Sgt. Geary has been doing evictions for five years now. "You gotta have really thick skin to be able to do it."

The case load is staggering. Las Vegas still has the highest foreclosure rate in the country. The vast majority -- like this day -- are apartment tenants behind in their rent.

Deputy Scott McWilliams: "Today? We'll probably end up doing 25 to 30."

"In one day?"

McWilliams: "In one day...It's been a steady flow. It's almost like trying to hold back the tide with a teaspoon. I don't see an end in sight."

Sgt. Geary says the city is on track to carry out 40,000 evictions. This year, that's 6,000 more than last.

Unemployment is the biggest reason - Las Vegas unemployment went up in June to 13.8%. Reno also went up, to 13%.

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