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Author Archives: Esther Cho

Minnesota Court Rules in Favor of MERSCORP in Recording Suit

MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. announced another favorable ruling in a recording lawsuit from two Minnesota Counties. The U.S. District Court in Minnesota dismissed claims from Ramsey and Hennepin Counties alleging MERSCORP violated Minnesota law by not recording mortgage assignments with county recorders.

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Analysts Weigh in on Potential Impact of Proposed QRM Rule

Following the release of the revised Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule from six federal agencies, several analysts offered insight into how the revisions might benefit or impede progress in the mortgage market. Fitch Ratings believes adopting a QRM standard that mirrors the QM definition will trigger more activity for the jumbo origination and securitization market. Capital Economics, though, noted the QM and QRM proposals aren't much help when it comes to the long-term goal of reducing the presence of the GSEs in the mortgage market.

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Bay State Home Sales at Highest Level Since 2006

Home sales in Massachusetts remained strong in July despite rising interest rates, data from The Warren Group revealed. Sales for single-family homes rose 18 percent compared to July 2012 to 5,941--the highest level since June 2006, the Warren Group reported.

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New Holding Company to Operate Three Field Service Firms

Three prominent mortgage field service companies will fall under the ownership of one new holding company. The company, formed by Concentric Equity Partners (CEP) and TDR Capital (TDR), will own Mortgage Contracting Services, LLC (MCS), Asset Management Specialists, Inc. (AMS) and Vacant Property Specialists, LLC (VPS). The deal is expected to close October 1, 2013.

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Banks Post Record $42.2B in Profits; Problem Bank List Shrinks

FDIC-insured banks earned a record $42.2 billion in profits in the second quarter of this year, up 22.6 percent, or $7.8 billion, from $34.4 billion a year ago. The increase marks 16th month-in-a-row earnings rose year-over-year. Overall, 53.8 percent of the nearly 7,000 insured banks posted yearly increases in earnings. As profits rose, the list of problem banks shrunk to 533 compared to 612 a year ago. The tally for problem banks is also down significantly from the record high of 888.

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Distressed Inventory Fading Fast as Housing Market Strengthens

As the housing market heals, foreclosure inventory is depleting quickly, CoreLogic reported Thursday. In July, about 949,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, down 32 percent from 1.4 million a year ago. CoreLogic also reported steep declines in completed foreclosures and serious delinquencies. According to the data provider's estimate, about 49,000 properties were lost to foreclosure in July, down 25 percent from 65,000 in July 2012. At 5.4 percent, the serious delinquency rate decreased to the lowest level since December 2008, according to CoreLogic.

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Rising Rates Prompt Cash Buyers to Act

While higher mortgage rates have been blamed for the slowdown in pending home sales, they may be contributing to an increase in cash purchases, RealtyTrac suggested in a recent report. In July, about 40 percent of residential property sales were all-cash transactions. The share presents an increase from 35 percent in June and 31 percent compared to July 2012. Short sales also accounted for a bigger share of sales in July, increasing to 14 percent, up from 13 percent in the prior month and 9 percent from a year ago.

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NAWRB Announces New Name

The National Association of Women REO Brokerages are keeping their acronym--NAWRB--but announced an official name change to National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses. Irvine, California-based trade association explained the move is part of an effort to expand opportunities to women beyond REO brokerages.

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