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NAR’s Pending Home Sales Gauge Slips 1.8%

The number of contracts signed for purchases of previously owned homes unexpectedly dropped in September. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Friday that its pending home sales index slipped 1.8 percent - the first decline reported since June. Economists polled by Reuters were anticipating a 3 percent increase. The fact that the September drop occurred before all the problems with foreclosure affidavits came to light, and created uncertainties for buyers of REO properties, means there's likely more volatility to come in home sales statistics.

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Attorneys Title Agency Acquires Philip F. Greco Title Company

Attorneys Title Agency (ATA), a full-service title company headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, recently acquired the assets of Philip F. Greco Title Company of Mt. Clemens, Michigan. The transaction closed October 29. The two companies have merged into the newly formed Greco Title Agency, which will have access to the foreclosure and REO clientele of ATA, the largest title insurance provider in Michigan.

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Private Sector Adds Jobs, but No Improvement in Unemployment Rate

Figures released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor show that private employers added 159,000 new positions to their payrolls in October - the fastest pace of job growth in the private sector since April. The government, though, shed 8,000 jobs, for net employment growth of 151,000. The gain was much larger than analysts and economists had predicted. Still, the nation's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.6 percent. It's the 15th straight month that the jobless rate has been at 9.5 percent or higher.

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Report: Connecticut September Home Sales Drop

Single-family home sales in Connecticut fell 14.25 percent in September from a year earlier, according to a new report by the Warren Group. It's the first month since February that the number of home sales has dropped below the 2,000 mark. Condominium sales in the state also fell sharply by 23 percent to the lowest level recorded in September in more than two decades.

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Equator Appoints Financial Services Expert as Vendor Solutions Manager

Equator has named industry veteran Mick Goldstein as manager of vendor solutions. Goldstein will support Equator's vendor products and services. Goldstein is former EVP of business development for RealtyData Corp., where he managed sales of the company's products and technology to mortgage lenders and title companies.

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JPMorgan Chase to Restart Suspended Foreclosures

JPMorgan Chase says it will re-file affidavits for some 127,000 foreclosures that have been on hold because of ""robo-signing"" issues. According to a company official, the resubmission of corrected documentation should begin by mid-November and will take at least three to four months to complete. The bank says it risks losing a couple million dollars each month the foreclosure proceedings are delayed. Reviews have confirmed that all foreclosure decisions have been based on materially accurate information, according to JPMorgan.

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Industry’s Mortgage Rate Reports Show Mixed Results

Freddie Mac's report on mortgage interest rates this week says long-term 30-year rates rose slightly, while 15-year rates eased and short-term adjustable-rate mortgages set new lows. A separate study from Bankrate claims mortgage interest rates dropped across the board to record lows. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced another injection of $600 billion into the nation's sluggish economy, but it remains to be seen if this is enough to push Treasury yields and mortgage rates lower, and if so, by how much.

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IndiSoft’s RxOffice Now Supports eSignatures

IndiSoft now supports electronic signatures with its RxOffice Document Management platform. The company says RxOffice increases the speed of default management processes by allowing users to execute documents without printing, signing, and scanning. The technology is compliant with federal and state handwritten digital signature regulations. The eSignature is bound as part of the document itself.

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Mortgage Defaults Decline Despite High Unemployment: S&P

Consumer default rates declined in September across certain structured finance categories, including first- and second-lien mortgages, according to a report issued Thursday by Standard & Poor's. The improvements, which S&P's data shows have continued since last year, came despite a national unemployment rate that is still near its recession peak. The agency's analysts explained that job growth typically lags an economic recovery, and noted tighter underwriting standards are having a positive effect.

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Factoring Company’s New Program to Assist Valuation Industry

Oxygen Funding, Inc., a factoring company based in California, recently launched a new service program focusing on the financing needs of real property appraisers. The company says appraisers have been experiencing problems in collecting money owed to them and maintaining a healthy balance of cash flow because banks are holding on to money longer. Oxygen Funding purchases appraisers' outstanding invoices to give them the capital they need immediately to continue operating, less a service fee.

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