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Commercial Real Estate Losses Could Hit $300 Billion: TARP Panel

Losses from defaults on commercial real estate loans maturing in the next few years could go as high as $300 billion, threatening to topple nearly 3,000 community banks nationwide, a federal watchdog group has concluded. Market analysis by the Congressional Oversight Panel, charged with keeping tabs on the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), shows that none of the banks classified by federal guidelines as having a ""CRE Concentration"" are among the nation's largest holding companies.

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L.A. Bankruptcy Attorney Resolves Investors’ Inability to Service Debt

According to Los Angeles attorney Jerome S. Cohen, a chapter 11 specialist, many investors have found themselves unable to service debt due to vacancies, tenant defaults, and other problems that have arisen as a result of the struggling economy. However, banks are highly motivated to turn problems into performing loans, and Cohen says there is an opportunity to find creative solutions to this increasingly common issue.

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Company Proposes Paying Homeowners Not to Walk Away

With tumbling property values leaving nearly a quarter of borrowers owing more on their mortgage than the home is worth, some may find it tempting to walk away - either to get out from under the debt completely or to force the servicer's hand for a modification. This idea of ""strategic default"" has become a universal concern within the industry, but one New Jersey company says it has a plan to counter such calculated flights of exodus. According to the Loan Value Group LLC, it's time to pay current borrowers to stay that way.

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Existing Home, Condo Sales Skyrocket in Florida

With low mortgage rates as a driving factor, sales of existing single-family homes and condos in Florida surged in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to a recent report by the Florida Association of Realtors. Increased sales of existing homes were reported in 18 of Florida's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), and all of the Sunshine State's MSAs showed gains in condo sales.

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SigniaDocs Execs Appointed to Key MISMO Posts

Harry Gardner and Charles Epperson of SigniaDocs, a Dallas-based provider of eMortgage services, have been appointed to key posts within MISMO, a nonprofit subsidiary of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that is known as the mortgage industry's pre-eminent standards organization.

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Keystone Completes Market’s First Multi-Borrower CMBS in Two Years

Keystone Property Group, a real estate developer, manager, and investor of office and industrial properties, announced this week that it has completed a $53.5 million refinancing for one of its properties in the Pittsburgh submarket with what the company says is the first multi-borrower commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) deal in nearly two years. With the entire commercial real estate industry concerned about the ability to obtain financing, Keystone says this loan may signify that lending has begun to return to the market.

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BOK Financial Acquires Rights to Service $4 Billion of Mortgages

BOK Financial Corp. in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has acquired the rights to service a $4.1 billion portfolio of mortgage loans from Albuquerque, New Mexico's Charter Bank. The acquisition boosts BOK's current $7.4 billion servicing portfolio by 46 percent. The loans are predominantly held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae, with approximately three quarters from customers in New Mexico.

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NAWRB Launches Nonprofit Program

Since its inception in August 2009, the National Association of Women REO Brokerages (NAWRB) has been seeking to launch a nonprofit program. That goal was realized this week with the official incorporation of the NAWRB Community Enhancement program. This nonprofit venture is dedicated to developing infrastructure for parks and community centers in neighborhoods strongly affected by the nation's growing foreclosure rate.

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Wolters Kluwer Helps Mortgage Lenders Embrace H4H Program

Following the recent enhancements to the federal government's HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) program, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services has updated its library of H4H mortgage documents and consumer education materials. HUD's enhanced program includes several provisions meant to increase lender and borrower participation, including reduced program fees, streamlined borrower certification requirements, and new underwriting guidelines.

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