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California Man Sentenced to 51 Months for Fraud

The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) announced that Steven Pitchersky of Rancho Mirage, California was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for a scheme to defraud GMAC Inc., since rebranded as Ally. Through his fraudulent actions, the company incurred losses of approximately $5.3 million.

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CFPB Fines Alabama Firm for Mortgage Disclosure Violations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered RealtySouth to pay a civil penalty of $500,000 for inadequate disclosures. The largest real estate firm in Alabama was charged with leaving consumers unaware of their rights to choose service providers during the home-buying process.

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Ohio Bank Fails; Eighth This Year

Columbia Savings Bank of Cincinnati, Ohio was closed by the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions, which appointed the FDIC as receiver. The FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with United Fidelity Bank of Evansville, Indiana to assume the failed bank's deposits.

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Chicago-area Homes Sell Faster with Higher Prices in April

Homes are selling faster and at higher prices in the metropolitan Chicago real estate market in April, according to a recent analysis of market activity by RE/MAX. However, sales of distressed homes, either through foreclosure or short sales, fell off steeply for the month as the housing market continued to work through the foreclosure process.

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Hawaii Dominates ‘Top 20 Best Beach Town Markets’

In a recent ranking of the best beach town's by RealtyTrac, Hawaii held a slim majority over California and Florida with 11 of the top 20 beach markets in the nation. The company based its selections on four criteria: average temperature, percentage of sunny days, percentage of days with good air quality, and crime rates.

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Mayor Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

A mayor in the Miami area has been suspended by Florida Gov. Rick Scott following a federal indictment alleging mortgage fraud. According to a report from the Miami Herald, North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau was suspended Tuesday after appearing in court to face charges related to her role in an $8 million fraud scheme.

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California’s April Home Sales Jump 20 Percent from March

In a new report from PropertyRadar on California single-family home sales, the company found that sales were up 20 percent in April from March. However, sales fell on a yearly basis for the month, declining 13.3 percent. Despite the gains in April, year-to-date sales volume is the lowest it has been since 2008.

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Tornado Ravaged Area Seeing Reduced Foreclosures

Nearly a year after a tornado devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma, foreclosure activity is slowly dwindling in the area, specifically in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. RealtyTrac found that bank repossessions spiked 58 percent in the four months following the tornado but are pulling back as the area experiences recovery.

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Texas Employment Numbers Best in the Nation

A new report by the Wells Fargo Economics Group found that Texas added 64,100 new jobs in April, the largest gain in the nation. The boost in job numbers helped push unemployment down to 5.2 percent from 5.5 percent in March. Nationwide, unemployment was 6.3 percent for the month of April.

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A Tale of Two Cities: Phoenix and Cleveland

Pro Teck Valuation Servicers released their April Home Value Forecast (HFV), looking specifically at two metros where there is a mix of hot and cold real estate markets. The company's April edition focuses on Phoenix, Arizona and Cleveland, Ohio.

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