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AllRegs Taps Coester to Create Educational Materials for Lenders

Coester Appraisal Group recently announced that its CEO Brian Coester has been commissioned by AllRegs to develop instruction manuals, video tutorials, and classroom training programs to educate lenders on how to protect themselves against repurchase requests that are based on erroneous assessments of the loan file's appraisal. According to Coester, discrepancies in appraisals account for roughly 15 percent of all repurchase requests, but often the loan originator is not responsible for the discrepancy.

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Moody’s: U.S. Commercial Real Estate Prices Rise 3.6% in May

Prices of U.S. commercial real estate properties as measured by the Moody's/REAL Commercial Property Price Indices (CPPI) increased 3.6 percent in May. It was the second monthly gain in a row, after a 1.7 percent rise in April. But the ratings agency isn't reading too much into the successive increases. Moody's says, expect commercial real estate prices to remain ""choppy"" in the months ahead and transaction volume to be muted.

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Home Listing Prices, Inventory Edge Up in Q2: Altos

Both sellers' asking prices and inventory levels of residential properties rose slightly during the second quarter, according to a market gauge developed by Altos Research that tracks such statistics in 10 major cities. The company's 10-city composite of home prices inched up 0.2 percent from the first quarter to the second to $477,937. In Q2, Altos found that the inventory of properties listed for sale rose by 5.4 percent across the 10-city composite. San Francisco came out on top in terms of home price and inventory increases.

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch Names New Commercial Real Estate Exec

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has promoted Steven Kenny to commercial real estate banking region executive for the states of New York and New Jersey. In his new position, Kenny will be responsible for leading a team of real estate professionals who deliver a range of comprehensive financial solutions for a broad array of clients, including the real estate development and investment sector.

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Freddie Mac to Hold REO Auction in Phoenix

Freddie Mac said Friday that it has teamed up with real estate auction specialist REDC and the asset management firm New Vista to sell off 135 homes the GSE has repossessed through foreclosure at an auction event in Phoenix, Arizona. The HomeSteps REO homes will be auctioned off to individual homebuyers at the Phoenix Convention Center on August 7. Almost a third of the homes are being set-aside specifically for first-time borrowers participating in the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).

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Survey Finds Sidelined Homebuyers Are Preparing to Enter the Market

Although both new and existing home sales were down in May, it's not all bad news. According to a new survey by Relocation.com, more Americans are positioning themselves to purchase a home in the near future. The survey found that some families are opting to rent while they research for deals to purchase a more desirable home in their area. There's no surefire way to determine when these sidelined homebuyers will enter the market, but the survey results were encouraging.

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Goldman Sachs Pays $550M to Settle SEC Fraud Suit

Goldman Sachs agreed to pay more than half a billion dollars to settle federal charges that it misled investors to sink money into a product backed by dicey subprime mortgages just as the housing market was beginning to collapse. The SEC is touting the settlement as its largest-ever penalty against a Wall Street firm. Goldman has acknowledged that the marketing materials for the investment product contained incomplete information and says it will tighten up internal controls to ensure future disclosures on mortgage offerings are accurate.

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New Joint Venture Offers Life-of-Loan Services from Closing to Payoff

Nationwide Title Clearing (NTC) has joined forces with the founders of TransContinental Title to form a new national title company, Lenders Title Solutions (LTS). The new Florida-based firm provides title and closing services to lenders in all 50 states, and according to the principals, together, LTS and NTC will offer a life-of-loan services solution, from the moment the loan is closed until it is paid off and released.

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Banks Repossess 4,000 South Florida Homes Per Month: Report

Banks took back an average of 4,000 South Florida properties each month during the first half of 2010, according to a new report from the locally based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures. At the current rate, the company says nearly 50,000 homes will be repossessed in South Florida this year alone. One key reason the number of REOs has spiked is the implementation of a new online auction technology being used by county circuit courts to clear the backlog of foreclosed properties.

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GSEs Face Lawsuit over Resistance to Going-Greener Energy Loans

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been hit with a lawsuit by California Attorney General Jerry Brown. He's suing the GSEs and their regulator for refusing to support the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, or PACE, for homeowners to make energy improvements to their properties. The GSEs argue the program does not ensure borrowers can repay the money and makes the first mortgage lien subordinate to the PACE loan. But Brown says their assessment of PACE funding as a loan is wrong.

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