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Keller Williams Realty to Launch Agent Business Platform

Keller Williams Realty will launch what it calls ""the real estate industry's first complete lead-to-close business solution"" for every agent in the company. The first phase of the solution, eEdge, will officially launch at Keller Williams' annual convention next month. It will enable agents to funnel and maintain all their contacts, leads, and clients in one database, as well as develop and distribute marketing and sales materials and manage Web sites and listings -- all through a single system.

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CoreLogic Home Price Index Shows Decline for Fourth Straight Month

CoreLogic released its November home price index Tuesday, which shows that home prices in the United States declined for the fourth month in a row. The company reported that national home prices, including distressed sales, fell by 5.07 percent in November 2010 when compared to November 2009. The rate of decline increased significantly in November, and CoreLogic says it's indicative of the uphill battle to achieve a housing recovery.

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Home Prices and Inventory Start Year Down: Altos Research

The first week of January typically marks the seasonal low point for home sales, new listings, and closings, as weather and holiday celebrations keep buyers and sellers from the market, and this year is no different, according to Altos Research. The company says both home prices and inventory are down for the lion's share of the nation's regional markets. The analysts at Altos expect home prices to hit a new trough in 2011, falling another 5 to 10 percent over the next 12 months.

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Industry Responds to Massachusetts Foreclosure Ruling

The Friday ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court that invalidated two foreclosures by U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo has prompted an outpouring of responses from the industry, and many are wondering if the ruling will have far reaching effects on other foreclosure sales. The Supreme Court ruled the banks did not have the legal right to foreclose on homes in the state because they did not have proper documentation to prove they owned the mortgages at the time of foreclosure.

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Detroit Officials Work to Rid City of Blight from Vacant Homes

In an effort to reduce neighborhood blight and eliminate potential hot spots for crime, Mayor Dave Bing of Detroit has set a goal of demolishing 10,000 abandoned homes and residential structures in the city by the end of his term in December 2013. Since Detroit's Residential Demolition Program began in April 2010, about 1,850 vacant homes have been bulldozed. By comparison, in all of 2009, the city tore down just 860 empty homes.

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MDA Lending Solutions Launches Fraud-Reducing Suite for Lenders

MDA Lending Solutions has launched a suite of products to help customers satisfy Fannie Mae's Loan Quality Initiative (LQI) recommendations and reduce mortgage fraud. According to the company, its new LoanShield suite enables clients to identify suspicious activity, protect themselves against repurchase claims, and lower the chance of mortgage fraud-related issues impacting loan performance.

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New Vista CEO Named Chair of Fed’s Consumer Advisory Council

The Federal Reserve announced Monday that it has named 10 new members to its Consumer Advisory Council and designated a new chair and vice chair for 2011. The council advises the Federal Reserve board on the exercise of its responsibilities under the Consumer Credit Protection Act and on other matters in the area of consumer financial services. Jim Park, CEO of the REO disposition firm New Vista Asset Management, has been selected to chair the council.

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Philadelphia Sheriff Announces 50-Day Moratorium on Foreclosure Sales

When Philadelphia Sheriff John Green resigned on Friday, his replacement instituted some major changes immediately. Acting Sheriff Barbara Deeley announced a move to dismiss several top members of the staff and hired a new chief deputy. Deeley also announced that a 50-day moratorium on sheriff's sales of foreclosed homes would be instituted, and she terminated agreements with all title companies currently doing business with the sheriff's office.

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Florida and Arizona Banks Become First Failures of 2011

Just one week into the new year and regulators have moved to shut the doors on two community-based lenders -- First Commercial Bank of Florida in Orlando and Scottsdale, Arizona's Legacy Bank. Officials at the FDIC have said they expect bank failures to begin tapering off from last year, when a total of 157 financial institutions were shuttered and the lingering effects of bad real estate loans made at the height of the boom undermined many banks' balance sheets and left capital levels below regulatory requirements.

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Home Staging Business Named a Top 500 Franchise Company

Entrepreneur magazine ranked Showhomes 214th in its annual list of the top 500 franchise companies. The Nashville-based home staging company also ranked in the top 50 low-investment businesses, top 100 fastest growing franchise systems, and top 100 home-based businesses. Founded in 1986, Showhomes focuses on vacant properties. Franchisees recruit and train live-in home managers to stage and maintain the home while it is on the market.

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