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Foreclosure Activity Down 17% from a Year Ago: RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac has released its January foreclosure market report. The tracking company's analysis shows that foreclosure filings were reported on 261,333 U.S. properties in January. The tally represents a 1 percent increase from the previous month but a 17 percent decrease from January 2010. It marks the third consecutive month that filings have come in below 300,000, following 20 straight months where the total exceeded that threshold. REO activity was the only area where filings increased on a month-to-month basis.

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New Cleveland Title Agency Extends Lines of Service Nationally

Leslie Rennell, former president and CEO of Cleveland-based Resource Title Agency Inc. (Resource Title), has announced the formation and launch of Resource Title National Agency, Inc. (Resource National), which has purchased some of the business assets of Resource Title. Rennell will now serve in the role of owner and CEO of Resource National.

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More than Half of Las Vegas Area Homes Purchased with Cash

According to statistics released by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR), 51 percent of all existing homes sold in southern Nevada are now purchased with cash. GLVAR president, Paul Bell, said this represents a first for the area housing market. Bell says his organization has been checking with counterparts around the country and has yet to find another major metropolitan area where so many buyers are paying cash for homes.

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LPS: Mortgage Delinquency Rate Dropped 18% in 2010

According to data released by Lender Processing Services (LPS) Tuesday, delinquency rates are down across all first-lien home loan products, with an 18 percent overall decline since the start of 2010. The company attributed the drop to more loans entering foreclosure, combined with a decline in new delinquencies. The nation's foreclosure inventory, on the other hand, swelled almost 10 percent over the course of 2010. LPS says 30 percent of the foreclosures started during the month of December are ""repeat foreclosures,"" meaning they have been in foreclosure previously.

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LRES Corp. Welcomes New Senior Director of Operations

LRES Corporation recently announced that it has welcomed Tammy Boren as the company's new senior director of operations. Boren will be responsible for the implementation of operational strategies and objectives across multiple departments. She was previously VP of client services at UTLS Default Services, Inc.

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New Vista Approved for HUD’s Oversight Program of REO Vendors

New Vista Asset Management has been approved by HUD to serve as a subcontractor to RiskSpan's oversight and review of the HUD Homes REO disposition program. RiskSpan selected New Vista to augment its team to support the HUD oversight contract activities, including review of the structure and content for key performance and process reports used to determine the effectiveness of HUD's third generation of Management and Marketing (M&M III) contractors.

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Fitch: Subpar Loan Mod Results Making U.S. Foreclosures a Reality

With loan modifications on a steady decline, the analysts at Fitch Ratings say the common thread running through the industry has become when will the servicer foreclose as opposed to how can a distressed borrower stay in their home. Fitch's analysis of loan mod trends shows little improvement in success rates. While alternatives like short sales are modestly improving loss severities, the agency says servicers report borrowers are electing to remain in their property longer by staying on through the extended foreclosure process.

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U.S. Firm Partners with European Bank to Buy Distressed Assets

ICP Financial, a U.S. real estate investment firm headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, has signed an agreement with an unnamed top 5 European bank to buy distressed commercial real estate property and mortgage portfolios directly from American banks. The arrangement gives ICP a $4.8 billion purse to make individual purchases between $5 million and $180 million.

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National Asset Management Firm Recruits Minority Brokers

Vendor Resource Management (VRM), a Texas-headquartered asset management firm, will visit four cities in February and March to recruit minority brokers. These InMOTION recruitment events will take place in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Detroit. The company says through this initiative, it hopes to provide additional business opportunities for minority real estate offices, help stabilize property values in neighborhoods hardest hit by the economy, and deploy educational resources to the entire broker community.

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Clear Capital Sees Signs of Upturn in U.S. Home Prices

Clear Capital has released new home price data, with an encouraging, albeit cautious, analysis. The company reports that through the end of January, national home prices are down 1.6 percent on a rolling quarter-over-quarter basis. But despite the negative quarterly price change, Clear Capital says U.S. home prices stopped declining in early January and have posted their first uptick since mid-August 2010. The company says the likely explanation for the sudden increase is the slowing of the rate of REO sales.

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