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Study: Consumers More Likely to Pay Credit Cards Than Mortgages

A study by the credit bureau TransUnion shows that when choosing which bills they can afford to pay, consumers are more likely to pay their credit card obligations and fall behind on their mortgage payments. TransUnion says this trend has continued for the past three years, and while the number of consumers current on credit cards but delinquent on their mortgage has declined slightly, it is more than 70 percent higher than it was at the beginning of the ""Great Recession.""

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Pro Teck Valuation Services Offers Customized Appraisal Reviews

Pro Teck Valuation Services announced the availability of customized appraisal reviews via AppraisalCheck, its suite of desk and field review products for the repurchase market. AppaisalCheck identifies appraisal fraud, errors, and misrepresentations. The company says it has seen a growing need for retro forensic reviews to determine whether there is any culpability on behalf of the originator.

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Mortgage Rates Inch Up for Second Week

Mortgage interest rates across the board edged higher this week, marking the second consecutive reporting period that they've increased. Data released by Freddie Mac Thursday shows that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 5 basis points in one week's time to 4.86 percent. The 15-year rate came in at 4.09 percent, and adjustable-rate mortgages also increased.

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Arkansas Restricts Wall Street Home Resale Fees

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has signed House Bill 1388, making Arkansas the 22nd state to ban the use of Wall Street home resale fees, also known as private transfer fees. Private transfer fees require that homebuyers pay a percentage of the final sale price of a home to a private third party every time the property is sold, typically for 99 years. Issuers of these fees attempt to sell the right to collect them on Wall Street.

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MBA Taps Former Freddie Counsel as VP, Commercial Regulatory Policy

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced this week that Thomas T. Kim will serve as the association's new VP of commercial regulatory policy beginning April 14. He will manage activities relating to commercial regulatory issues, serve as the staff representative to the Commercial Risk Retention Task Force, and advance and promote commercial policy with a focus on federal financial regulatory reform and bank oversight. Prior to joining MBA, Kim was associate general counsel at Freddie Mac.

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Regulators Propose Rule to Link Executive Pay to Risk

Federal regulators proposed a new rule Wednesday that would require certain financial institutions, including large mortgage lenders, to account for risk as they structure incentive compensation packages for executives and employees. New rules for risk-based pay are a mandate of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act and are aimed at stemming the type of risky lending and investment gambles that many economists say pushed the nation's financial system to the brink of collapse.

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KDX Ventures to Sell $142M Portfolio of HUD Multifamily Loans

KDX Ventures, a partnership between DebtX and KEMA Advisors, will sell $142 million in multifamily loans for HUD, the companies announced Wednesday. The portfolio consists of 18 multifamily loans, ranging in size from $1.7 million to $17.4 million. The collateral is located in 10 states, with a concentration in Texas. Most of the loans are non-performing.

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Three States Move to Ban Foreclosure Sales From Appraisal Values

With foreclosure sales steadily rising, four states are concerned that the use of the foreclosure sale prices in appraisals of neighboring homes is distorting the market. Legislators in Illinois, Nevada, and Missouri have all proposed separate bills that would exclude or restrict foreclosure sales from being used as comparisons to determine the value of homes around them. Maryland had proposed a similar bill, but withdrew the legislation on Tuesday.

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Shadow Inventory Drops but Supply to Remain High for Extended Period

The industry's shadow inventory of repossessed and soon-to-be repossessed homes that aren't visible as properties for sale has contracted, according to CoreLogic. Analysis released by the company Wednesday shows that the shadow inventory of residential properties as of January 2011 fell to 1.8 million, down from 2.0 million a year earlier. For the first time, CoreLogic also examined how loan modifications and short sales could reduce shadow inventory levels.

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REALcondition Report Helps Lenders Comply with New Guidelines

A new exterior property value analysis tool called REALcondition Report from PLATINUMdata Solutions is designed to assist lenders in complying with the new Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines. While automated valuation models (AVMs) on their own do not address property condition - since that requires an actual visit to the physical property - REALcondition Report is based on an in-person exterior assessment.

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