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Foreclosures Account for 43% of Twin Cities Home Sales

Foreclosure sales accounted for roughly 43 percent of home sale closings in the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota last month, and 40 percent of pending home sales contracts. While those market shares are in line with recent trends, Brad Fisher, president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, says they're still higher than what he'd like to see. While overall purchase activity in March was down 17 percent, the foreclosure segment saw a 30 percent jump in closed sales.

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Mortgage Issues Lead to 39% Drop in Income for Bank of America

Bank of America said Friday that it turned a profit of $2.0 billion for the first quarter of 2011. That's down 39 percent from the lender's earnings a year earlier, largely due to continuing losses tied to its legacy mortgage business. Bank of America took a $4.9 billion hit related to foreclosure delays and other out-of-pocket expenses that the company does not expect to recover, as well as higher litigation costs and loss mitigation expenses. The bank has also confirmed plans to lay off 1,500 mortgage employees.

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South Florida Bank Repossessions Decline for First Time in Four Years

Bank repossessions in South Florida decreased during the first quarter of 2011, according to a new report from the locally based firm Condo Vultures. Lenders repossessed 2 percent fewer properties between January and March 2011 than in the same three-month period in 2010 in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. The decline represents the tri-county region's first quarterly drop since the real estate crash began in 2007.

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eMortgage Logic Releases Collateral Assessment Report

eMortgage Logic has launched a collateral assessment report (CAR) that can join with an automated valuation model (AVM) in response to the recently published Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines. Using its network of preferred brokers, eMortgage Logic's report addresses the content criterion necessary regarding a property's current physical condition and local market influences.

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RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Activity at Lowest Level in Three Years

RealtyTrac says processing delays have reduced foreclosure activity to its lowest level since the first quarter of 2008. New data released by the tracking firm shows that foreclosure filings were reported on 681,153 U.S. properties during the first three months of this year. That represents a 15 percent decline from the previous quarter and a 27 percent drop from a year ago. Declines were steepest in states where a judicial foreclosure process is used, but looking at the nationwide data for March, RealtyTrac's report indicates that activity is already beginning to pick up some.

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REO Allegiance to Provide Field Services for 24 Asset Management

REO Allegiance has been selected by 24 Asset Management Corp. as one of its property preservation and field services partners. The company says the decision was made based on the quality of the work provided by REO Allegiance, its reputation in the marketplace, and its status as a certified woman-owned business. According to 24 Asset, less than 5 percent of default-related services are going back to minority- and woman-owned businesses, and both companies agree that with large volumes of these assets concentrated in diverse populations, the involvement of such companies is essential to supporting redevelopment.

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Safeguard Properties Announces Training Partnership with AACE

Safeguard Properties has partnered with the American Association of Code Enforcement (AACE) to offer a training and certification program free of charge to code enforcement officials. Available nationally, the program is conducted via an online, on-demand Webinar platform, the first offered by a mortgage field services company. It provides an overview of best practices pertaining to property preservation and tools to assist code officials with day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining the integrity of properties in their communities.

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Field Services Group Teams With LPS to Launch Code Enforcement Tool

The National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) and Lender Processing Services (LPS) have teamed up to develop a new online tool that the organizations say will facilitate communication and collaboration between code enforcement officials and national providers of field services to the mortgage servicing industry. The Web-based tool is called ALLIANCE. It will be launched May 1, and is free to both local code enforcement officials and participating national providers.

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Self-Evident Truth in Market Variables: Longer Foreclosure Timelines

With foreclosure activity somewhat erratic in recent months along the country's West Coast, time-to-foreclose remains the one true constant in that it continues to increase across the board. ForeclosureRadar has released its monthly report on March foreclosure activity for its coverage area of the five West Coast states. The foreclosure timeline in Nevada extended by more than 16 percent in one month's time to 322 days. In California, the increase was smaller at 4 percent, bumping the state's timeline up to 302 days.

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Fitch Sees Drop in Subprime Delinquencies as Default Swap Prices Rise

Recent improvements in the job market are translating into falling subprime delinquency rates. At the same time, prices on subprime credit-default swaps (CDS) have risen for five straight months. Multiple reports on the secondary market signal growing investor appetite for subprime mortgage bonds and finance instruments like CDS, which transfer the risk of default from the bond holder to the seller of the swap. According to Fitch, subprime delinquencies are dropping sharply with cured loans up by as much as 50 percent for some vintages.

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