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Wolters Kluwer Unveils Technology to Manage Pre-Foreclosure Activities

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services on Tuesday announced the launch of Pre-Foreclosure Manager, a hosted solution for U.S. mortgage servicers to create, mail, track, and manage borrower default notices. The nation's servicers face a rising number of loans entering default in addition to increasing regulatory pressures. Wolters Kluwer Financial Services says its new technology offers a solution to address large spikes in foreclosure volumes with limited in-house resources and reduce the risk of non-compliance.

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Pro Football Great Tim Brown Joins Halo Companies Advisory Board

Halo Companies, Inc. announced Tuesday that famed football star, Heisman trophy winner, and two-time nominee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tim Brown has joined the Halo Companies advisory board. Halo is a publicly-traded nationwide asset management and consumer financial services company that provides solutions to financially distressed consumers which can be applied individually or utilized as a comprehensive workout strategy.

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Wingspan Upgrades Investor Portal to Provide Servicing Transparency

Texas-based special servicer Wingspan Portfolio Advisors recently upgraded its technology with the release of Investor Portal 2.0. The improved Web-based portal provides stakeholders with access to their serviced loans through customizable dashboards. Wingspan SVP E.J. Kite calls the new portal a ""controlled yet flexible tool with a results-oriented approach that brings an entirely new dimension to special servicing.""

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AMS Servicing Deploys Short Sale Platform from DepotPoint

AMS Servicing LLC, a national specialty servicer for residential and small balance commercial mortgages, recently selected the TrackPoint default servicing platform to facilitate short sale transactions on behalf of its clients. AMS Servicing uses TrackPoint Short Sale with its short sale underwriting process to create customized, end-to-end short sale processes that work with the systems of individual servicers.

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S&P Case-Shiller Index Records Another Drop in Home Prices

Data released Tuesday morning by Standard & Poor's show that home prices are continuing to trend downwards. The 20-city composite reading of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index fell 1.0 percent in January 2011 when compared to the previous month. The 20-city composite is down 3.1 percent from its January 2010 level. San Diego and Washington D.C. were the only two markets to record positive year-over-year changes, while 11 cities posted new cycle lows during the first month of this year.

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LPS: Foreclosure Backlog Stands at 30x Foreclosure Sales Volume

New data released by Lender Processing Services (LPS) Monday clearly illustrates that foreclosure timelines are growing longer and longer. The company reports that the average loan in foreclosure right now has been delinquent for a record 537 days, and 30 percent of loans in foreclosure have not made a payment in over two years. As of the end of February, LPS says foreclosure inventory levels stood at more than 30 times monthly foreclosure sales volume.

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OCC Issues Warning on Real Estate-Owned Exchange Programs

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued a notice to the chief executives of all the lenders it regulates warning them of the risks involved in real estate-owned exchange programs. Several companies have started marketing real estate-owned exchange programs to national banks as a means to reduce problem assets on their balance sheets, but the OCC says these programs ""can raise significant safety and soundness, legal, and accounting concerns.""

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Hilco Real Estate Targets Distressed CRE with New Acquisitions Group

According to R. Aaronson, CEO of Hilco Real Estate LLC, the company will launch Hilco Real Estate Acquisitions Group to originate, underwrite, and acquire assets across a range of property classes and stages, including those in workout, foreclosure, and REO. Acquisition capital will come from various sources, including Hilco and investor partners selected for each transaction. The group's primary acquisition targets will be industrial and retail properties.

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Pending Sales of Previously Owned Homes Rise Unexpectedly

After declining for two months, pending sales of existing homes unexpectedly increased in February, the National Association of Realtors reports. The trade group's pending home sales index rose 2.1 percent compared to January but remains 8.2 percent below February 2010. The index reading for last month was 90.8. A reading of 100 indicates a healthy level of sales activity. The last time the pending sale index registered above the 100 mark was in April 2010 when homebuyers were rushing to sign contracts before the homebuyer tax credit deadline.

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Fraud Criminals Migrate to Hardest Hit Areas

Data released Monday shows an increase in mortgage related fraud in areas with high rates of foreclosures and underwater borrowers. Risk analytics firm Interthinx released its annual Mortgage Fraud Risk Report which analyzes loan applications and determines the most significant mortgage fraud risk trends for the past year. According to the report, overall mortgage fraud risk is highest in areas that have been hit hardest by the housing and economic downturns, and fraud criminals are migrating to these regions.

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