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FHA Delinquencies Drop in February

The Federal Housing Administration has come under fire for the growing number of delinquencies in its portfolio, with some economists and industry observers even predicting that a bailout of the federal mortgage insurer is in the cards. But according to the agency's latest operations report it's beginning to see some improvements in the seriously delinquent column. While still considerably elevated, the rate of loans 90 or more days overdue in FHA's portfolio dropped to 9.2 percent in February, down from a reading of 9.4 percent for the month of January.

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Morningstar Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Realpoint

In an announcement Friday, Morningstar, Inc., a Chicago-based provider of independent investment research, said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Horsham, Pennsylvania-based Realpoint, LLC, a nationally-recognized statistical ratings organization that specializes in structured finance.

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Illinois Home Sales Increase for Sixth Consecutive Month

The homebuyer tax credit and buyers' market conditions continue to move the Illinois housing market toward stability. According to a report released Monday by the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR), February marked the sixth consecutive month of growth in year-over-year home sales in the state.

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Investors Find Opportunities in Distressed Commercial Assets

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. And that's exactly what some savvy real estate investors are doing. Declining values, debt maturity, tight credit access, and stalled construction may continue to plague commercial real estate for the remainder of 2010, but optimistic investors are seeing opportunity in this difficult market via the purchase of distressed assets, according to Deloitte's Perspectives on Real Estate: Uncovering Opportunity in a Distressed Market, released Monday.

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HFF New York Hires Director in Debt Placement Group

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF), a provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services, announced last week that it has hired Gary Newman as a director in the debt placement group in its New York office. Newman will focus on originating debt and structured finance transactions throughout the northeastern United States.

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Nearly Half of Home Purchases Are Distressed Properties: Survey

The share of home purchase transactions involving distressed properties surged to almost half in February, according to an industry survey released Monday. Last month distressed properties - those involving homes acquired as part of a foreclosure or pre-foreclosure sale - accounted for 48.1 percent of the home purchase transactions tracked by the survey. It was the highest distressed property market share seen since last July, with short sales accounting for the largest percentage of transactions.

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Bank of America Sues First American

Mortgage industry lawsuits are beginning to stack up - Federal Home Loan Banks are suing lenders, lenders are suing insurers - all in an attempt to recoup losses from a crippling national housing crisis. In the latest rendition of the industry's legal series, Bank of America has brought a suit against First American Corp. over what the lender says were defective title insurance policies.

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New President Takes Over Grubb & Ellis Apartment REIT

Gustav G. ""Gus"" Remppies has been appointed as the new president of Santa Ana, California-based Grubb & Ellis Apartment REIT, Inc. He assumes the position from Stanley J. ""Jay"" Olander, who has served as president since April 2007 and will continue to serve as CEO and chairman of the board.

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Fiserv Enhances Loan Servicing Platform

Brookfield, Wisconsin-based Fiserv, Inc., a global provider of financial services technology solutions, recently announced enhanced investor capabilities for its Loan Servicing Platform. The new technology allows users to have real-time access to the cash position as it relates to their investor portfolio.

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One in 200 Home Mortgages is Fraudulent: First American CoreLogic

Nationwide, one in every 200 residential loans funded last year, totaling $14 billion, involved fraud, according to First American CoreLogic. Despite what looks like an unsettling amount of shadiness lurking within the mortgage market, the company says the fraud rate has been steadily declining for the past three years and is now about 25 percent lower than when it peaked in the third quarter of 2007.

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