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Noted Commercial Real Estate Attorney Joins Thompson & Knight

The law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP recently announced the addition of Mark Weibel as a partner in the firm's Dallas office. Weibel joins the firm with his experienced team of four associates, including Bryan L. Larson, Bryan D. Garner, Christopher W. Neilson, and Shannon Fey Stapp. Together, Weibel and his team will combine with Thompson & Knight's existing real estate, banking, and financing expertise to establish a capital markets practice group.

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Interthinx Releases Automated Collateral Risk Solution

Interthinx recently announced the release of ValueGUARD, an automated collateral risk solution that the company says will revolutionize the way property, neighborhood, and market area risk can be assessed by lenders and investors. The solution identifies the risk of future value deterioration as well as risk associated with the current value of a property, Interthinx explained.

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Williams & Williams Unveils Auction Index

Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams & Williams Worldwide Real Estate Auction announced the launch of a new proprietary index last week that tracks actual results derived from the company's monthly auction performance data. Williams & Williams says the combination of this tracking system and the company's own pricing models for residential and commercial real estate allow it to provide clients with a 30- to 90-day advanced view of real estate market performance.

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Consumers Are Taking Control of Their Finances: Survey

In light of the economic crisis, consumers are taking financial matters into their own hands by implementing proactive spending habits and mortgage management strategies, according to the findings of a national survey conducted by Western Union. The company said consumers' improved spending behaviors, coupled with the respondents' proactive approach to mortgage payments, paint a picture of positive money management behavior and demonstrate Americans' determination to take hold of their finances.

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Stewart Agency Technology Integrates With LPS SoftPro

Stewart Title Guaranty Company (STGC) announced Monday the integration of Stewart Agency Technology with Lender Processing Services'(LPS) SoftPro, a real estate closing and title insurance software. According to George Houghton, EVP of the agency services group for STGC, the Stewart Agency Technology enables SoftPro users to increase efficiency, automate various parts of workflow, and better manage forms.

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HAMP Servicers Put Nearly 300,000 in Permanent Mods

The Treasury Department released April data for the administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Monday, showing that permanent modifications have been initiated for 299,092 struggling homeowners. That's an increase of 68,000 or almost 13 percent over March. Government officials stressed that HAMP servicers must be held accountable for their individual performance. New in this month's statistics is information about servicer-specific conversion rates.

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Four More Bank Failures Push Year’s Tally to 72

Regulators seized control of four community banks over the weekend, in Illinois, Georgia, Michigan, and Missouri. This latest round of closures brings the total number of insured institutional failures for the year to 72 - already more than double the number of banks to go under this time last year. Midwest Bank and Trust Company in Illinois was the largest of the most recent shut-downs.

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Mortgage Jobs Manage Second Consecutive Gain: Report

Mortgage employment expanded by more than 700 jobs during the first quarter, an industry report released Monday showed. Lenders, banks, and service providers terminated more than 1,500 mortgage-related employees during the first three months of this year. But the sector also added more than 2,200 new positions during the period. It was the second consecutive quarter that mortgage jobs improved.

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Threat of Shadow Inventory Diminishing: Barclays

Analysts at Barclays Capital say the industry's ominous shadow inventory is close to topping out. New research published by the firm says the supply of homes nearing REO status, defined as 90 or more days delinquent or in the process of foreclosure, will peak this summer and then begin falling gradually as the market becomes stable enough to absorb 130,000 distressed properties a month. Barclays puts the shadow supply at 4.5 million properties, but forecasts at least 4.7 million distressed sales over the next three years.

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Equator Offers Agent Certification for Short Sale Platform

Default servicing software provider Equator will announce Monday the launch of a new short sale certification program for real agents using its EQ Marketplace online platform. Since January of this year, Equator says it has seen short sale volumes nearly double those of REO properties on its platform, and the new certification program will ensure agents are equipped to handle the growing number of short sale transactions already coming in.

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