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HUD Offers REO Homes for $100 Down in Select States

HUD has approved a program aimed at putting foreclosed homes back into the hands of owner-occupant buyers. In select states, from now into October of next year, buyers need a down payment of only $100 to purchase a HUD-owned REO home. The buyer must be an owner-occupant, utilizing financing insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Contacts in the field say one of the most exciting features of this incentive program is that it can also be applied to an FHA 203k loan, which can be used to fund repairs and renovations on the home.

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After 3-Year Low, California Foreclosure Filings Rise Again

Having fallen to its lowest level in three years, California's rate of foreclosure filings rose up to come back in line with recent rates, according to the latest information from DataQuick. Filings increased by nearly 26 percent between the second and third quarters. At the same time, the share of properties purchased at foreclosure auctions by investors or other non-lender, non-government entities is growing. Homes that foreclosed in the third quarter took about 9.9 months from the notice of default to the final foreclosure.

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Industry’s Past-Due Mortgages Continue to Drop

How many homeowners in the United States are behind on their mortgage payments? It's 6,373,000, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS). The number is staggering, but it's actually on the decline, down from 6,397,000 as of the end of August, and 6,538,000 at the end of July. LPS has released a few high-level numbers from its mortgage performance report due out later this month, and there's evidence that servicers are pushing loans that have been languishing in non-payment status through the pipeline at a faster pace.

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Mortgage Rates Hold Steady Following Steep Increases Last Week

Average mortgage rates were relatively unchanged this week amid mixed economic and consumer sentiment reports, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable mortgage rates were mixed while fixed mortgage rates held steady remaining near their 60-year lows. The GSE's study puts the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.11 percent, down slightly from 4.12 percent last week. The 15-year fixed rate rose one basis point to 3.38 percent.

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Proposed Bill Would Offer Visas to Foreign Homebuyers in U.S.

Foreigners may get an added bonus when they invest in residential real estate in the United States - a visa. Senators from New York and Utah are proposing a bill that would offer residence visas to foreigners when they spend at least $500,000 in the U.S. residential real estate market. Investors may split their spending between two or more properties, as long as they spend at least $250,000 on one home and $500,000 or more total. Economists say low prices resulting from high levels of foreclosures in some states have served to entice foreign buyers.

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Existing-Home Sales Slip 3% as Seasonal Slowdown Sets In: Report

Sales of previously owned homes slipped 3 percent between August and September, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Thursday. That follows a jump of nearly 19 percent between July and August. The decline was widely expected as sales activity follows the typical seasonal cycle and heads lower with the mercury in the thermometer. Distressed homes accounted for 30 percent of sales in September. Eighteen percent were foreclosed homes and 12 percent were pre-foreclosure short sales.

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State Court Voids Home Sale Due to Improper Foreclosure

A Massachusetts man lost something he never had -- his home. The Masachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled this week that when Francis Bevilacqua purchased the home from U.S. Bank in 2006, the bank did not actually hold the home's title. The court ruled that because U.S. bank did not own the mortgage when it foreclosed upon the property, it did not obtain a title in the foreclosure. Therefore, Bevilacqua did not purchase a legal title when he made the purchase.

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Beige Book Cites Economic Growth but Weakness in Real Estate

The Federal Reserve released a new rendition of its market-gauging Beige Book Wednesday, which provides an assessment of regional conditions from those outside the Fed system and in the field. Reports from the 12 districts indicate that overall economic activity continued to expand in September. On the real estate front, though, home sales remained weak with prices either flat or declining across the entire country. Although commercial construction increased at a slow pace, that sector too was described as ""weak.""

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REOs: Where Are They Now?

The foreclosure tide has yet to ebb, and the massive supply of bank-owned homes building over the last half-decade has taken its toll on market fundamentals. What's become of all those properties seized by banks? CoreLogic delved into the stats to find out. Looking at the outcomes of 355,000 properties foreclosed on in 2006, the company found that 105,000 were liquidated as REO sales to third-party buyers in six months or less, while more than 20,000 remain part of the industry's REO inventory.

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Bachus Calls for Higher Guarantee Fees, Cuts in Housing Programs

Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee point to the GSEs and the Obama administration's housing programs as areas for Congress' deficit reduction super-committee to examine as it works toward cutting $1.5 trillion of the nation's debt. A letter drafted by Chairman Spencer Bachus and signed by 20 Republican committee members first calls for an increase in the GSEs' guarantee fees and then the elimination of such programs as HAMP and HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

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