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Pro Teck Offers Two Solutions to Meet New Appraisal Requirements

Federal regulators have amended their interagency appraisal and evaluation guidelines for real estate transactions, and confusion has set in. According to Pro Teck Valuation Services, the 70 pages of hard-to-decipher rules and conditions have led industry participants to ask the following question more than anything else: What can I use to replace broker price opinions (BPOs)? Pro Teck says it has two products in production and available to clients today that meet the new interagency requirements.

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Assurant Expands Support for Nationwide Property Preservation Services

Assurant Property Advantage, part of Assurant Specialty Property's lending solutions group, announced Thursday that it is expanding support for property preservation, restoration, and inspection services available to residential mortgage servicers and lenders. The company provides lenders and servicers with a single point of contact for abandoned property maintenance services via its nationwide network of contractors, service professionals, and inspectors.

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Fixed Mortgage Rates Retreat for First Time in Five Weeks

Interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages fell back this week according to industry data released Thursday. It marks the first time in five weeks that declines have been reported and follows a sharp spike last week of more than 20 basis points, which put the 30-year fixed rate at a 10-month high. Freddie Mac reports that the average 30-year rate dropped to 5.0 percent this week.

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RealtyTrac Hires VP of Sales and Strategic Alliances

RealtyTrac has announced the hiring of Brian C. Walby as VP of sales and strategic alliances. In this role, Walby will focus on member subscription sales, advertising sales, lead generation programs, and product sales. Walby brings more than 15 years of sales experience to RealtyTrac. He has managed sales organizations in both the private and public sector, with sales revenue responsibilities in excess of $80 million.

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Homeownership Preservation Foundation Receives $1M HUD Grant

The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) is the sole recipient of a $1 million Mortgage Modification and Mortgage Scam Assistance (MMSA) grant from HUD. The grant will enable HPF to continue as the primary ""call to action"" for HUD's anti-scam campaign to assist victims as well as educate and warn distressed homeowners about foreclosure prevention and loan modification scammers.

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Real Info and Safeguard Add Property Condition Reports to AVMs

Real Info, Inc., a national technology provider of real estate data and automated valuation models (AVMs), is offering AVMs with property condition reports designed to meet new regulatory appraisal and evaluation guidelines. Real Info contracted with Safeguard Properties, the nation's largest privately held mortgage field services company, to provide third party condition inspection reporting with full photo documentation.

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Investors Say Transparency is Necessary for a Recovery

The Association of Mortgage Investors (AMI) said on Wednesday they consider the Obama administration's GSE reform white paper a good start, but the organization says the plan is missing a key ingredient: transparency. The consensus among industry experts, White House officials, and lawmakers is that private capital must return to the market, but AMI says it sees a number of omissions in the proposal that will frustrate the success of a private market revival.

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RES.NET Launches Online Agent University

Real estate software developer RES.NET has created a free, online Agent University. The new University is available in the AMP (Accelerated Management Platform) section of the RES.NET Web site and allows professional level members to sign in and take advantage of several classes designed to enhance their skills and advance their careers, as well as additional courses that are specific to the company's AMP system.

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Improvement in Mortgage Delinquencies Slows: TransUnion

TransUnion reports that for the fourth quarter of 2010, the national mortgage delinquency rate dropped to 6.41 percent, down 0.47 percent from the company's third-quarter reading. These new findings confirm consecutive quarterly drops for U.S. mortgage loan delinquency in 2010, and almost a 7 percent decline year-over-year. On the surface, ""[t]his is great news...but not so fast,"" says a TransUnion spokesperson. The final quarter in 2010 marked the smallest decline in mortgage delinquency since the recession ended in the summer of 2009.

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Judge Rules MERS Cannot Act on Behalf of Banks

A New York judge has ruled that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) does not have the right to transfer mortgages on behalf of its members, meaning it does not have the right to file foreclosures on behalf of lenders. The company has recently been under fire for the practice, but the company defended its actions saying that borrowers are required to sign documents stating that MERS can assume rights and responsibilities on behalf of creditors.

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