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National REO Brokers Association Holds REO Education Conference

The National REO Brokers Association (NRBA) held its 10th annual REO education conference this month to promote direct interaction between members and clients. The NRBA is a national organization of brokers, appraisers, and attorneys who specialize in all phases of default management and servicing of distressed real estate. A record breaking number of clients attended the event, including the GSEs, several HUD M&M contractors, and most of the major REO outsourcers.

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Case-Shiller Index Officially Double-Dips

Data released Tuesday morning by Standard & Poor's show that the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index declined by 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011, after having fallen 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. The national reading hit a new recession low with the first quarter's data and posted an annual decline of 5.1 percent versus the first quarter of 2010. Nationally, home prices are back to their mid-2002 levels. Officials from S&P note that this month's report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation.

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Fannie and Freddie May Sell Modified Loans

Modified mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could go up for sale at some point, according to the companies' regulator. Since the GSEs were seized by the government, they have completed modifications on 849,000 mortgages. The sale of these assets is one option being discussed as part of a strategy to shrink their portfolios. The head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency told lawmakers that they are looking at a range of possible structures for disposing of certain assets, which could include non-performing and modified loans.

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Report: Investment Buyers Strengthen Foreclosed Home Sales

While home sales have slowed from the typical pace seen at the start of the spring buying season, Radar Logic says the foreclosure market is performing better than the market for all other homes. The company's count of motivated transactions - which includes sales at foreclosure auctions and subsequent bank-owned properties - has posted significantly stronger gains during the first part of this year than traditional home sales when compared to each market's historical performance. Radar Logic credits investment buyers for the foreclosure market's boost.

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New Inspection-Warranty Product Protects Foreclosure Buyers

Buyers Protection Group, LLC, (BPG) recently launched a ""buyer's bundle"" that provides protection and savings for those who purchase bank-owned, foreclosure, or short-sell properties. The bundle combines the benefits of a professional home inspection with a 12-month home warranty. The company says while vacant or distressed homes can be a great value, they can pose unique challenges to homebuyers, highlighting the need for a professional inspection and extended home warranty.

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Index of Pre-Owned Homes Under Contract Drops After Earlier Gains

Pending sales of existing homes - which in recent months have been nearly 40 percent comprised of REO and short sale properties - slipped much further than the market was expecting in April, signaling a feeble start to what typically would be the strongest home buying season of the year. The National Association of Realtors says following fairly commendable gains in February and March, its pending sales index dropped 11.6 percent in April. Economists had been expecting a decline, but significantly smaller at just 1 percent.

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Potestivo & Associates to Represent FDIC in Michigan and Illinois

Potestivo & Associates, P.C., a legal provider in the real estate finance and credit industry, will represent the FDIC as outside counsel in Michigan and Illinois, according to a statement from the firm. The AV-rated firm, which includes more than 100 team members, handles all aspects of default servicing, including residential and commercial foreclosures, bankruptcies, landlord tenant, title resolution, home retention services, REO disposition, and litigation.

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Survey: Local Real Estate Markets Heating Up With Investors

Local reports indicate investors have been snapping up more foreclosure and REO homes in recent months, and a new industry survey suggests they are poised to become an even bigger presence. According to Move, Inc., real estate investors will be more active in their local markets by a three-to-one margin compared to typical homebuyers over the next 24 months. The company says today's investor doesn't fit the common stereotype. Fifty percent plan to hold their properties for five-plus years, and three-fourths plan to combine cash and credit for a buy.

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Prices Post Biggest Drop in Two Years as Foreclosures Depress Market

Home prices in the U.S. continue to tumble as foreclosures claim a larger share of the market. Residential prices slipped 2.5 percent during the first quarter of this year when compared to the previous quarter, according to a national index calculated using sales prices from mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The index shows prices fell 5.5 percent between the first quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011. It's the largest annual drop recorded since the second quarter of 2009.

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Foreclosure Sales in Q1 = 158,434

RealtyTrac has released a new report detailing foreclosure sales activity during the first quarter. Altogether, third parties purchased a total of 158,434 bank-owned and short sale homes during the first three months of this year. That's down 36 percent from a year earlier. At this pace, it would take three years to clear the current inventory of properties already on the banks' books or in foreclosure. REOs sold at an average discount of 35 percent in Q1, while short sale properties carried a mark-down of nearly 9 percent.

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