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Risks Continue to Hinder Commercial Real Estate Investment Activity

As for commercial real estate, now is the time to invest. But according to a report from the CCIM Institute and the Real Estate Research Corporation, various risks are hindering commercial real estate investors from doing so. Their report says 2010 is ""a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity"" to snag key long-term investments, but market factors such as diminished demand for commercial space due to high unemployment and declining rents are holding some investors back.

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PMI’s Index Shows Decline in Risk of Home Prices Heading Lower

PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. released its second quarter 2010 U.S. Market Risk Index Monday, which showed that the likelihood home prices will take another dive is steadily diminishing. The company found that the risk of falling home prices increased in only one of the 384 metros in its study. According to PMI, a combination of factors led to declining risk in most geographic areas, including affordability, a general improvement in mortgage credit quality, decreasing foreclosure rates, and a drop in excess housing supply.

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a la mode Expands Its SureDocs e-Signature Service

a la mode, inc. recently announced that it has broadened its SureDocs e-Signature system to include market-specific versions for appraisers and real estate agents. The company said the deployment of appraiser and agent versions of SureDocs, shortly after FHA's confirmation that it now accepts electronic signatures on third party documents, is a huge step forward in truly creating paperless loans with all of the documents being ""first generation"" electronic files.

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Colorado Governor Signs Law to Fast-Track Sales of Foreclosed Homes

Colorado lawmakers are hoping to mitigate the effects widespread foreclosures are having on local communities in the state. This week, Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a bill that he says will secure neighborhoods against abandoned properties that have fallen into foreclosure by cutting in half the minimum time frame for a foreclosure sale, as mandated by the state.

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Prudential Launches New Loan Program for Multifamily Properties

Prudential Mortgage Capital Company, a commercial and multifamily mortgage finance business based in Newark, New Jersey, announced Friday that it has launched the Agency Gateway program, a new short term loan program for multifamily property owners seeking to refinance or acquire properties that do not currently qualify for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac permanent loan.

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Lenders Slow to Sift Through Distressed Commercial Loans: Real Capital

Only 10 percent of the $41 billion of distressed commercial real estate from a year ago has been resolved and is no longer held by the lender, according to new data from the research firm Real Capital Analytics. The company's analysis shows that securities trusts and domestic lenders have settled a comparably small portion of their distress from last year. Of those loans resolved, commercial mortgage-backed securities holders are more likely to have restructured the mortgages, while domestic banks are more likely to have foreclosed.

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Fannie Mae Changes Standards for Purchase and Securitization of ARMs

In an announcement Friday, Fannie Mae said it is changing the eligibility criteria for purchasing and securitizing adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) products. For ARMs with an initial period of five years or less, Fannie Mae will require that borrowers be qualified at the greater of the note rate plus 2 percent or the fully indexed rate (index plus margin). The company said it created these new standards to protect homeowners from potentially dramatic payment increases and to help ensure that borrowers who hold these types of mortgages can sustain them beyond the initial interest rate period

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Seth Wheeler Resigns From the Treasury Department

After two-and-a-half years, Seth Wheeler is resigning from his post as senior advisor for the U.S. Treasury Department. Wheeler, originally hired under former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, was a key architect in the administration's Home Affordable Modification Program.

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Geithner Assails HAMP Servicers in Speech to Senators

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says servicers are failing in their efforts to modify loans. Geithner told a Senate subcommittee that his office has received ""countless frustrated phone calls"" from borrowers, and is troubled by reports that servicers have foreclosed on eligible homeowners and repeatedly claim to have lost documentation. Geithner says Treasury is already conducting compliance reviews targeted at certain servicers and may withhold incentive payments.

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