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Report: Modesto Claims Highest Share of REO Sales in the Nation

Where do REOs take the largest piece of the home sales pie? According to data compiled by the independent real estate research and analytical firm Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, it's Modesto, California. In this Northern California city, Hanley Wood found that 60.5 percent of total home sales closings during the third quarter of this year were for bank-owned properties. By comparison, the company says the national average is 28 percent. REOs also comprised the majority of all home sales transactions in seven other metropolitan areas.

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University Study Advocates Home Price Decline Protection

The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland has released a report detailing the urgent need for measures to stabilize the housing market. The author says to allow the housing market to languish without powerful policy prescriptions jeopardizes recovery not only for housing but for the larger economy as a whole. One prominent suggestion put forth is a mortgage product that would combine job loss and home price decline protection features into one arrangement between the borrower and lender.

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Finance Professionals Consider Economic Recovery Unsuccessful: Survey

With few signs pointing to a solid economic recovery and the nation's unemployment rate hovering near a 26-year high, dissatisfaction remains prominent across the United States, especially in the financial services industry. According to a recent survey conducted by OneWire, a national financial services recruitment firm, 77 percent of finance professionals think the economic recovery has been largely unsuccessful. The responses indicate a departure from the rather hopeful outlook within the finance industry at the end of 2009.

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MDA DataQuick Updates Property Research Tool for Distressed Sales

MDA DataQuick, one of the nation's largest independent providers of property data to real estate and mortgage professionals, recently updated PropertyFinder 2G, the company's property research tool. Changes include expanded property details on distressed sales transactions and more accurate tracking. The technology gives users access to a nationwide database of detailed property and ownership information, including property profiles, sales comparables, demographic information, and property history.

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MIAC Closes Sales of GSE Servicing Portfolios

Mortgage Industry Advisory Corporation (MIAC) just announced that it closed the sale of two Freddie Mac bulk mortgage servicing portfolios in November with a combined unpaid principal balance of approximately $2.5 billion. The portfolios carried delinquency rates of 1.28 percent and 3.87 percent. The New York-based brokerage says it will be marketing a $70 million Fannie Mae mortgage servicing deal later this month.

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National Home Prices Down 5.8%, Major Metros See Double Dip: Report

The November home market report from Clear Capital shows that prices nationally fell another 5.8 percent over the previous three months. The company says although the pace of decline has slowed, home prices show no signs of bottoming out yet. Thirteen of the 50 major metros in the study have already entered into double-dip territory, indicating that their current price levels are the lowest since the housing downturn began. Among them are Vegas, Seattle, Tucson, Philadelphia, and several major Florida markets.

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Pegasystems Announces New Solution in Loan Foreclosure Processing

Pegasystems Inc, a provider of customer relationship management solutions, has launched a new pre-foreclosure solution that allows mortgage servicers to implement regulatory quality controls before foreclosure. The timing of the product roll-out couldn't be more apt, considering the uncertainty now surrounding foreclosure documentation and servicing procedures due to the recent robo-signing fiasco.

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Housing Inventory Drops in November, Still Above 2009 Numbers

A new report from ZipRealty shows the supply of homes for sale in November declined by an average of 3.8 percent in 26 major metropolitan areas that the company researched. The largest inventory declines were seen in Austin, Texas, where the for-sale supply fell 9.5 percent, and Boston, Massachusetts, down 10 percent. The company says declines could be indicative of sellers deciding to take their homes off the market, and could also be a result of foreclosure moratoriums.

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Mortgage Rates Climb for Fourth Straight Week

Mortgage interest rates rose again this week, marking the fourth consecutive increase. Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has jumped to 4.61 percent, up from 4.46 percent just one week earlier. If such sharp increments continue at this pace, the 30-year rate could rise above where it was a full year ago (4.81 percent) in a matter of mere weeks. For a $200,000 conventional loan, the sudden rise amounts to $50 more in monthly payments than if buyers had locked in rates just two months ago.

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Bank of America Will Move Origination Jobs to Modification Department

In order to deal with the influx of loan modifications that many banks are dealing with, Bank of America Home Loans has made the decision to move some of its mortgage loan originators and other staff to the loan modification department. The company plans on shifting around 2,500 employees to the modification side, where they will remain for at least the majority of 2011. That will bring the bank's team of home retention professionals to nearly 30,000.

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