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Author Archives: Heather Cernoch

California Accounts for Nearly 25% of Suspect Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Nearly one-quarter of calls from homeowners who believe they are victims of a foreclosure rescue scam originate in California, according to statistics released by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), which operates a national hotline to direct homeowners to accredited counseling services. While California's reported fraudulent activity was significantly higher than other states, only Los Angeles ranked in the top five cities, indicating that purported scam activity isn't concentrated in any one area of the state.

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LenderLive Expands Title Service Offerings

LenderLive Settlement Services has expanded its title-related and portfolio management service offerings in response to new regulatory compliance requirements affecting lenders and servicers. In today's environment, LenderLive says it is even more imperative that servicers have all title and mortgage documentation in order. The company notes that there have been instances where foreclosures or other loan actions have been delayed because the title information could not be verified.

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Wells Fargo Offers Workshop to Struggling Carolina Mortgage Customers

Wells Fargo will host a free workshop Thursday for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage, and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships. Hundreds of South Carolina homeowners are invited to the event in Columbia, South Carolina. About 50 home retention team members will be on hand to work one-on-one with customers to explore options such as workouts and loan modifications.

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First Guaranty Mortgage Looks to Accelerate Resale of REO Properties

First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. (FGMC) recently partnered with APD Solutions and Home Depot to launch an initiative aimed at accelerating the resale of REO properties and rebuilding the housing stock nationwide. Coined ""Rebuild the Dream,"" the initiative seeks to reduce the time cycle on the sale of bank-owned homes and improve sale prices by providing incentives to homebuyers and real estate selling agents to use rehabilitation loans to increase the value and appeal of REO properties.

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Freddie Mac Extends Mortgage Relief to Midwestern Storm Victims

Freddie Mac borrowers whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the recent storms in the Midwest can now take advantage of the GSE's full menu of relief policies. Homeowners residing in counties declared major disaster areas by President Obama are eligible for assistance. Freddie Mac's disaster relief policies allow servicers the discretion to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months.

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Justice Dept. Settles With Servicers Over Wrongful Military Foreclosures

The Justice Department announced a settlement with Bank of America and Saxon Mortgage to resolve allegations that the companies wrongfully foreclosed on active duty service members without obtaining court orders, a violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The combined settlements represent more than $22 million in monetary victim relief. Both companies have also agreed to repair negative credit reporting related to the foreclosures and will not pursue remaining amounts owed under the mortgages.

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National REO Brokers Association Holds REO Education Conference

The National REO Brokers Association (NRBA) held its 10th annual REO education conference this month to promote direct interaction between members and clients. The NRBA is a national organization of brokers, appraisers, and attorneys who specialize in all phases of default management and servicing of distressed real estate. A record breaking number of clients attended the event, including the GSEs, several HUD M&M contractors, and most of the major REO outsourcers.

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CitiMortgage Hosts Foreclosure Prevention Event in Miami

CitiMortgage and Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida will host a free homeowner outreach event in Miami for distressed homeowners on Wednesday. Part of the Citi Road to Recovery Homeowner Assistance Series, the event is open to all homeowners who are struggling with mortgage payments.

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Report: Investment Buyers Strengthen Foreclosed Home Sales

While home sales have slowed from the typical pace seen at the start of the spring buying season, Radar Logic says the foreclosure market is performing better than the market for all other homes. The company's count of motivated transactions - which includes sales at foreclosure auctions and subsequent bank-owned properties - has posted significantly stronger gains during the first part of this year than traditional home sales when compared to each market's historical performance. Radar Logic credits investment buyers for the foreclosure market's boost.

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New Inspection-Warranty Product Protects Foreclosure Buyers

Buyers Protection Group, LLC, (BPG) recently launched a ""buyer's bundle"" that provides protection and savings for those who purchase bank-owned, foreclosure, or short-sell properties. The bundle combines the benefits of a professional home inspection with a 12-month home warranty. The company says while vacant or distressed homes can be a great value, they can pose unique challenges to homebuyers, highlighting the need for a professional inspection and extended home warranty.

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