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LPS: Foreclosure Backlog Stands at 30x Foreclosure Sales Volume

New data released by Lender Processing Services (LPS) Monday clearly illustrates that foreclosure timelines are growing longer and longer. The company reports that the average loan in foreclosure right now has been delinquent for a record 537 days, and 30 percent of loans in foreclosure have not made a payment in over two years. As of the end of February, LPS says foreclosure inventory levels stood at more than 30 times monthly foreclosure sales volume.

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OCC Issues Warning on Real Estate-Owned Exchange Programs

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued a notice to the chief executives of all the lenders it regulates warning them of the risks involved in real estate-owned exchange programs. Several companies have started marketing real estate-owned exchange programs to national banks as a means to reduce problem assets on their balance sheets, but the OCC says these programs ""can raise significant safety and soundness, legal, and accounting concerns.""

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Hilco Real Estate Targets Distressed CRE with New Acquisitions Group

According to R. Aaronson, CEO of Hilco Real Estate LLC, the company will launch Hilco Real Estate Acquisitions Group to originate, underwrite, and acquire assets across a range of property classes and stages, including those in workout, foreclosure, and REO. Acquisition capital will come from various sources, including Hilco and investor partners selected for each transaction. The group's primary acquisition targets will be industrial and retail properties.

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Pending Sales of Previously Owned Homes Rise Unexpectedly

After declining for two months, pending sales of existing homes unexpectedly increased in February, the National Association of Realtors reports. The trade group's pending home sales index rose 2.1 percent compared to January but remains 8.2 percent below February 2010. The index reading for last month was 90.8. A reading of 100 indicates a healthy level of sales activity. The last time the pending sale index registered above the 100 mark was in April 2010 when homebuyers were rushing to sign contracts before the homebuyer tax credit deadline.

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NRT REOExperts Announces Executive Appointments

NRT REOExperts LLC, a full-service REO service provider and member of the NRT family of companies, announced the appointment of several new members to its executive team last week. Stephen Benetz was named president of the company. Benetz appointed Walter Mullen, Mary Gomez, and Ximena Wolf to leadership positions at NRT REOExperts, and promoted Kathy Jeffers Volk and Phil Collier to new positions from within the NRT REOExperts management team.

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BofA Partners with Detroit to Assist Homeowners, Rehab Vacant Homes

In a partnership with the city of Detroit, Bank of America will open two customer assistance centers in the area to provide homeowners at risk of default or foreclosure with counseling and on-site decision making for mortgage modification programs or other payment assistance. The bank also plans to donate and refurbish 10 vacant homes for the city's ""Project 14"" program, and will work with the city to identify up to 100 low-value and vacant properties for demolition.

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Safeguard Announces Four Executive and Management Appointments

Safeguard Properties issued a notice Thursday announcing the appointments of four individuals to its executive and management teams. Michael Greenbaum has been named to the newly created position of VP, REO. Apryl Seide was appointed as the company's general counsel. Jennifer Anspach has been promoted to director of finance and accounting, and Russ Klein has been named director of quality control.

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Radar Logic’s Home Price Index Hits Lowest Mark Since 2007

Radar Logic's latest RPX Composite, which tracks home prices in 25 major metros, declined to $179.50 per square foot in January, its lowest level since 2007. The company says the rapid decline suggests weak market fundamentals, including a high supply of homes coupled with high rates of mortgage defaults. The report also notes that sales of foreclosed homes by financial institutions, or ""motivated sales,"" made up 35 percent of all home sales as of January 20, the second highest share of motivated sales that Radar Logic has observed.

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Survey: Nearly Half of Economists See Double-Dip Before Year-End

Almost half of the 111 economists and real estate experts polled this month by MacroMarkets are forecasting a double-dip in home prices to happen this year, and not a single panelist expects property values to recover to the pre-bubble trend for at least the next five years. MacroMarkets was founded by Robert Shiller, namesake of the closely-watched Case-Shiller Home Price Index. He says the deteriorating outlook among panel members has been influenced by the unabated foreclosure crisis and persistently weak market fundamentals.

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Rowell Auctions Features Stanley Tate on New National Radio Show

Rowell Auctions, Inc. has launched a new national Internet radio show that will educate listeners about property auctions. The show will feature top real estate and auction leaders from across the country, and will target potential bidders, real estate agents, sellers, and other auction firms. Stanley Tate, CEO of Tate Enterprises in North Miami, Florida and former head of Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), was the first guest featured on the radio show's inaugural broadcast March 18.

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