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Fixed Mortgage Rates Drop to Yearly Lows

Interest rates on home loans have dropped across the board for the third consecutive week. Freddie Mac reports that the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage this week slipped enough to match its lowest mark in 2011 at 4.71 percent, while the 15-year rate fell to 3.89 percent, a new yearly low.

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First American Data Tree Announces New Data Services Portal

First American Data Tree, LLC, the nation's largest provider of digital land records, released its newest portal, ParcelIQ.com, this week. The new browser-based platform allows lenders to order and receive data elements used in the loan decision-making process, including documentation to validate ownership, determine a property's current equity status, and evaluate risk.

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Landlords Undeterred by Foreclosures, Survey Reveals

More than 80 percent of independent landlords surveyed said they would rent to someone who lost a home in foreclosure, according to the National Association of Independent Landlords. However, landlords stipulated that applicants must otherwise have good credit. The association says because of the high volumes of defaults, there is a greater need for rental property, and landlords recognize that applicants with foreclosures are often good risks because they once owned their own homes.

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Home Prices Have Officially Double-Dipped: Clear Capital

The national home price index from Clear Capital has officially entered double-dip territory. The company says data through the end of April has pushed its reading of national home prices 0.7 percent below the prior low recorded in March 2009, as markets have become saturated with bank-owned properties. Clear Capital's report shows prices have fallen 11.5 percent over the previous nine-month period. A rate of decline this rapid has not been seen since 2008.

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FDIC Releases Report Detailing Findings of Foreclosure Investigation

The FDIC has released a special report highlighting what it describes as ""lessons learned"" from the interagency review of foreclosure processes and procedures at the nation's largest mortgage servicers. The FDIC says most institutions that own or service residential real estate loans have been affected by the dramatic increase in foreclosures, but the delinquency rates on loans originated by community banks have been far lower and as a result, ""robo-signing"" practices and process deficiencies are principally isolated to the largest servicers.

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Companies Launch Online-Offer Venture for Distressed Sales

Realty Pilot, a real estate technology company, and RealtyBargains.com, an online distressed property listings directory, announced a joint venture this week aimed at bringing together distressed homeowners and potential property buyers. The partnership will provide homeowners facing foreclosure with a new, free service to expedite the offer-making process from prospective buyers for pre-foreclosure transactions.

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Freddie Mac Turns $676M Profit in Q1, Needs No Taxpayer Funding

The nation's second largest mortgage company reported Wednesday that it pulled in net income of $676 million during the first three months of this year. Freddie Mac closed the quarter with positive net worth of $1.2 billion. As a result, no additional funding from Treasury was required for the first quarter of 2011. It's the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009 that the company has not needed to draw on taxpayer support. REO dispositions reached record levels in the first quarter with approximately 30,000 homes sold.

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Trepp Reports Jump in CMBS Delinquencies to New Record-High

After three consecutive months in which the delinquency rate on loans held in U.S. commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) showed signs of leveling off, the rate re-accelerated in April, Trepp LLC reported Wednesday. The New York-based research firm says the percentage of loans 30-plus days delinquent, in foreclosure, or REO climbed 23 basis points last month to hit 9.65 percent. That number is, once again, the highest reading in the history of the CMBS market.

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Foreclosure Supply Numbers Point to Recovery in Texas

Texas continues to perform noticeably better than other states in the real estate market, local Realtors say, by avoiding an excess supply of foreclosures and other distressed properties. Economists say the state has managed to maintain balance between home inventory and demand, and this, combined with the fact that Texas has maintained strong property values, indicates the market is absorbing foreclosed and other distressed properties.

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Lehman Structured Finance Exec Named Integrated Asset Services’ CEO

Default management and residential valuation provider Integrated Asset Services, LLC (IAS) has named former Lehman Brothers executive Paul E. Sveen as its new CEO. A 25-year veteran of the industry, Sveen spent 19 years with Lehman, where he held executive leadership roles in the firm's structured finance and securitization businesses, and at Aurora Loan Services, Lehman's largest residential mortgage company.

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