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Service 1st Provides Commercial BPOs

Due to an overwhelming need in the marketplace, Service 1st Valuation and Settlement Services, an appraisal management company based in Pittsburgh, has added commercial broker price opinions (BPOs) to its list of services. The company has been providing commercial BPOs to a select list of current valuation clients for several months and received an extremely positive response. As a result, it will now offer this service on a nationwide level.

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CMSA Switches Gears as CRE Finance Council

The board of governors of the Commercial Mortgage Securities Association (CMSA), a trade organization dedicated to the commercial real estate capital markets finance industry since 1994, has transformed CMSA into a new organization that will serve all constituencies within commercial real estate finance. CMSA is now the CRE Finance Council.

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Only 23% of Agents Surveyed Predict Increase in Home Prices

Seventy-seven percent of real estate professionals think home prices will either stay the same or decrease in the next six months, according to the results of a nationwide survey released by California-based HomeGain Tuesday. Agents and brokers queried expressed concern that home prices could be adversely affected by rising interest rates, expiration of the homebuyer tax credit, persistent unemployment, continued foreclosures, and the release of shadow inventory held by banks.

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Future of Fannie and Freddie Debated on Capitol Hill

Together, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee nearly half of all outstanding mortgages in the United States. They are the very epitome of ""too big to fail,"" and indeed when the housing market came tumbling down and Fannie and Freddie were on the brink of collapse themselves, the government immediately stepped in, shelling out more than $125 billion in taxpayer dollars to cover their losses. Although the nation's housing recovery is still fragile at best, the burning question on everyone's tongue is, ""What do we do with them now?""

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Existing-Home Sales Fall Again in February: NAR

Although higher than year-ago levels, existing-home sales declined slightly from January to February of this year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Tuesday. Sales of previously owned homes slipped 0.6 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.02 million units in February. It marked the third consecutive month of sales declines. IHS Global Insight called February's numbers ""further payback for the first-time homebuyers' tax credit that [originally] expired on November 30.""

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IndiSoft Puts Down Stakes in Nation’s Capitol

IndiSoft, LLC, a technology development firm that focuses on systems for the default services industry, announced Tuesday that it has opened an office in Washington, D.C. The company, which is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, says its presence in the nation's Capitol will help to ensure that it's got the most current information from regulators and policymakers as they work to reform the mortgage marketplace.

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Seven Banks Shuttered by Regulators

Regulators seized control of seven more community banks over the weekend - three in Georgia, and one each in Alabama, Minnesota, Ohio, and Utah. That brings the FDIC's failed bank list to 37 for the year.

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Title Company Challenges Use of GFE Calculators for RESPA Compliance

Since the new Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) changes took effect at the beginning of the year, a number of title firms have rolled out their own rate calculators to help lenders compute the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) for HUD transactions. While improved technology is a key factor to providing the type of title work that aligns with new RESPA compliance, Advantage Title Company warns that ""not all technology is good technology,"" and says GFE calculators are ""exactly what the industry needs to avoid.""

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Financial Asset Services Earns SAS 70 Type 2 Compliance

Financial Asset Services, Inc. (FAS), a national asset management company with a 30-year history of providing property disposition and valuation services for mortgage companies and financial institutions, announced Friday that it has successfully completed an SAS 70 Type 2 audit.

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