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Author Archives: Esther Cho

McCalla Raymer to Buy Assets from Prommis Holdings

McCalla Raymer, a provider of legal services to the mortgage banking industry, reached an agreement with Prommis Holdings to purchase some of the assets that currently support the non-legal support functions of the firm. Prommis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 18. The agreement is subject to bankruptcy court approval and is expected to close in the next few weeks, Atlanta-based McCalla Raymer announced.

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Delinquency Rate Slides Under 7% in February: LPS

The mortgaged delinquency rate in February slipped below 7 percent, according data from Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS). On Tuesday, LPS provided an early look at month-end mortgage performance data for February and found the delinquency rate is at 6.80 percent, down 3.16 percent from January's 7.03 percent and a decrease of 6.51 percent from February 2012. At the same time, the foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate averaged 3.38 percent, which represents a 0.98 percent month-over-month decline and a 19.58 percent decrease year-over-year.

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Shadow Inventory Down to 2.2M Homes, Falls 28% from Peak

In January, the number of homes still hidden in the shadows fell to 2.2 million, a 28 percent decrease from the January 2010 peak when an estimated three million housing units were in shadow inventory, data from CoreLogic revealed. The 2.2 million units represent a supply of nine months and a year-over-year decline of 18 percent from January 2012, CoreLogic reported. Seriously delinquent loans were the main drivers of shadow inventory, accounting for one million of the distressed properties yet to be released.

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New Vista Asset Management Announces Leadership Change

San Diego-based New Vista Asset Management announced its president and COO, Brian Hurley, will be departing from the firm to pursue new opportunities. Hurley plans to stay with the company until mid-April to support business and management transitions.

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California Pending Sales Up Monthly; REO, Short Sales Decline

California saw a month-over-month increase in pending home sales in February, while distressed were down for both REOs and short sales, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) reported. C.A.R.'s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) was up 8.7 percent to 110.2 in February, up from a revised 101.4 in January. The index is based on signed contracts. Overall, distressed property sales accounted for 32.9 percent of sales in February, a decrease from 35.6 percent in January and a steep decline from 53.3 percent a year ago.

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Rep and Warranty, Servicing Costs Remain Elevated in Q4: KBW

Representation and warranty costs remained elevated in the fourth quarter among top originators, though new and outstanding repurchase claims were mixed for large mortgage companies, according to a recent analysis from KBW. The GSEs continued to drive much of the new and outstanding repurchase claims, with Fannie Mae repurchases totaling $1.9 billion in Q4, down from $2.02 billion in Q3, while Freddie Mac repurchases totaled $638 million, down from $819 million, the report revealed.

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LPS: Home Price Increases Continue into January

National home prices continued to recover in January, but prices were still far below their peak, according to the Home Price Index (HPI) report from Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS). In January, national home prices averaged $208,000, up 0.3 percent from December and 6.7 percent year-over-year. However, prices were still 21.4 percent below their June 2006 peak. The state that led with the biggest monthly price increase was Georgia, where prices were up 1.6 percent. Three hard-hit states--Arizona, California, and Florida--saw respective price gains of 1 percent, 0.7 percent, and 0.4 percent.

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VRM to Engage Local Companies Through New Initiative

VRM Mortgage Services is expanding its marketplace reach nationwide by acting locally. On Thursday, the company announced the creation of its own locally-sourced property preservation panel. VRM Mortgage Services plans to select homegrown companies in seven cities who will be tasked with providing traditional property preservation and maintenance services.

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Study: Nearness to Public Transportation Strengthens Home Values

A study released by American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the National Association of Realtors suggested homes in close proximity to public transportation were much more resilient when faced with price declines during the recession. Data from the study found property values for homes near public transportation performed 41.6 percent better on average compared to homes not in ""transit sheds."" The study compared property values from 2006 to 2011 for homes located near public transit systems and homes that were in a non-transit areas in five regions--Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Phoenix, and San Francisco.

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