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Author Archives: Heather Cernoch

BlackRock Names New Global Head of Real Estate

BlackRock, Inc. recently hired Jack Chandler as global head of real estate. Chandler will oversee BlackRocks global real estate capabilities, which extend across the capital market structure and include both equity and debt investment products. Chandler is the former global chief investment officer and executive chairman, Asia, for LaSalle Investment Management. At BlackRock, he succeeds Paul Audet, senior managing director, who assumed interim leadership for the firm's real estate business in 2008.

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New FTC Rule Impacts Realtors’ Short Sale Business

A new rule from the Federal Trade Commission that aims to protect homeowners from mortgage relief scams may impact real estate professionals who represent clients involved in short sale transactions. The Mortgage Assistance Relief Services rule bans all upfront fees for renegotiating mortgage terms and mandates certain consumer disclosures. It is primarily directed at companies offering modification services, but the National Association of Realtors says certain conditions also apply to practitioners working with short sales.

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Credit Suisse Names Head of CMBS Research

Credit Suisse has hired Roger Lehman as managing director and head of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) research. Lehman, who will join Credit Suisse August 1, will be responsible for research and analysis that will support the bank's re-entry into CMBS origination as well as its secondary trading desk. He was formerly co-head of structured finance research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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New Jersey Launches Foreclosure Prevention Program for Unemployed

The New Jersey HomeKeeper Program officially launched this week to provide payment assistance to homeowners in the state who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure as a direct result of unemployment or underemployment. The zero percent interest rate loans offered through the program will be forgiven in full as long as the homeowner remains in the home for at least 10 years. The latest figures from the state reveal New Jersey's unemployment rate rose to 9.3 percent in March.

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New Program Combines Coverage for Mortgage Impairment Protection

A new product from Aon Underwriting Managers will offer financial institutions that own or service mortgage loan portfolios the ability to combine insurance coverage. Aon's Global Portfolio Protection Program (GP3) offers mortgage impairment protection, mortgagee errors and omissions coverage, foreclosed/real estate-owned property and liability insurance, and force-placed hazard and flood insurance in one insurance policy.

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California’s MLSListings Offers Fannie Mae Short Sale Assistance Desk

MLSListings, Inc., a not-for-profit, California mutual benefit corporation formed by eight Northern California Realtor associations, will participate in the Fannie Mae Short Sale Assistance Desk program. MLSListings, which represents more than 18,000 subscribers in 6,000 firms in an area covering 28,000 square miles, is the first multiple listing service (MLS) in California to participate.

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Integrated Mortgage Solutions Offers Chinese Drywall Remediation

Integrated Mortgage Solutions (IMS), a provider of property preservation and rehabilitation services to mortgage lenders and servicers, will offer a new remediation process for Chinese drywall, which releases dangerous sulfur compounds into the air, particularly in warm, moist environments. IMS' biochemical remediation process does not require the complete removal of existing wallboard. The on-location, ""in-situ"" process is completed in as little as one-third the time of traditional methods and reduces overall costs by up to 50 percent.

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Cash Buyers and Investors Make Outlook for Condo Market Not as Bleak

Recent news has highlighted the severity of the renewed downturn in home prices, but Capital Economics says although condominiums will not escape altogether, over the next year or so condo prices are likely to fall by less than their single-family counterparts. The research firm notes that demand for condos is currently stronger than demand for single-family homes, due to cash buyers and investors seeking rental income. The condo market also boasts a lower delinquency rate, which suggests fewer foreclosed properties will support the supply of condos.

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Wells Fargo’s Top Mortgage Exec to Retire

Mark Oman, senior EVP and head of the Home and Consumer Finance Group at Wells Fargo & Company, plans to retire at the end of this year. Oman previously announced his intention to retire in 2008 but stayed on to help the bank with its acquisition of Wachovia. Oman joined Wells Fargo in 1979 and helped to grow the company into the largest originator of home mortgages in the nation and the second largest servicer of mortgages.

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New Tool Simplifies Photo Uploads for Real Estate Professionals

Real estate data company MRIS recently unveiled an enhancement to the MLS system with a tool to simplify photo uploading for real estate professionals. Dubbed Media Connect, the company says its technology supports agent listings with 80 percent faster upload times. The MRIS system currently hosts more than 70,000 active real estate listings with over 1 million new photos added so far in 2011.

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