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Wells Fargo Owns Up to Finding Errors in 55,000 Foreclosure Affidavits

For weeks, Wells Fargo has insisted that it's not a part of the robo-signing debacle, but that changed with an announcement late Wednesday that it will submit new affidavits for approximately 55,000 pending foreclosures in 23 judicial states. Wells Fargo says it has identified instances where employees did not adhere to legal procedures in conducting final reviews and did not execute notarizations properly. The bank reaffirmed that it does not plan to institute a moratorium on foreclosure sales.

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Foreclosure Activity Up in 65% of U.S. Metros in Q3: RealtyTrac

Data released by RealtyTrac Thursday shows that foreclosure activity rose in 65 percent of the nation's major metropolitan areas during the third quarter. Cities in California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona once again claimed the nation's highest foreclosure rates, accounting for 19 of the 20 metros at the top of RealtyTrac's list. The only exception was Boise City-Nampa, Idaho. However, the largest increases in foreclosure filings were reported from Seattle, Chicago, and Houston.

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Foreclosure Freezes Come on Heels of Rise in Distressed Sales: Report

The proportion of foreclosure and other distressed property sales continued to climb in September, with damaged REO experiencing the sharpest rise, according to a report released this week by Campbell Surveys. The company says the new data suggests that any significant delay in foreclosures resulting from the recent legal controversy surrounding paperwork accuracy could have major repercussions for the housing market in the coming months.

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Study: Shadow Inventory to Keep REO Supply Elevated for Several Years

An estimated 4.1 million borrowers are in the process of foreclosure or are more than 90 days delinquent. Their homes make up what's been termed the shadow inventory -- a pent up supply of REOs that could drive down home prices and perhaps cause another wave of defaults. Guhan Venkatu, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, says even under the most benign projections, the stock of REO properties is likely to remain elevated for the next several years.

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Fidelity National Requires Lenders to Vouch for Foreclosure Accuracy

Fidelity National Financial, the nation's largest title insurer, will soon begin requiring lenders to provide the company with an indemnity agreement that guarantees the accuracy of their foreclosure documentation before Fidelity will insure the title of a repossessed home. The new policy was prompted by the recent foreclosure freezes enacted by at least five major mortgage servicers and disclosures of errors made in the processing of foreclosure paperwork, and is effective for all foreclosure sales closing on or after November 1.

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Massachusetts Foreclosure Petitions Drop but Foreclosure Deeds Climb

Foreclosures started by lenders in Massachusetts during September declined from August by 23 percent and dropped 6.7 percent from a year earlier, according to a new report by the Boston-based research firm the Warren Group. Lenders filed 2,358 petitions to foreclose in September, the first step in the foreclosure process. Meanwhile, the number of completed foreclosures increased for the ninth straight month in Massachusetts.

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Nation’s Biggest Banks Each Hold over $20B in Foreclosures: Report

New data released this week shows that the nation's largest banks are holding monstrous volumes of soured home loans. According to an analysis by Weiss Ratings, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo each reported more than $20 billion in single-family mortgages currently foreclosed or in the process of foreclosure as of midyear. In addition, for each dollar these banks held of mortgages in foreclosure, there were another $2 in loans in the pipeline that were 30 days or more past due.

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MountainView Forms Mortgage Loan and REO Valuation Unit

MountainView Capital Holdings, a provider of financial services for institutions participating in the mortgage and fixed income capital markets, has announced the formation of MountainView Portfolio Analytics, a business unit specializing in valuation of residential whole loans, securitized loans, and REO. The company has been providing valuation services for over 20 years but says it decided to create a separate business unit due to increased market demand.

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GMAC Mortgage to Move Forward with Foreclosures

GMAC Mortgage was the first company to halt foreclosures in 23 states because of concerns that the legal paperwork was not validated and processed correctly. After two months of reviewing individual case files, the company says it will restart foreclosure proceedings. Bank of America has also lifted its foreclosure suspension in 23 states. While both companies say they have found no instances in which a homeowner was wrongly foreclosed upon, at least one county sheriff in the judicial state of Illinois says he's not going to carry out their evictions until they provide further proof.

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Asset Management Firms Team Up in Minority Business Joint Venture

UrbanAmerica Advisors and Green River Capital have created a joint venture minority business enterprise (MBE) called UrbanAmerica Res Services. Headquartered in Dallas with offices in Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and New York City, UrbanAmerica Res Services is a network of 7,000 deal sourcing, loss mitigation, asset management, and valuation professionals. The new company combines UrbanAmerica Advisors' national infrastructure and local community development relationships with Green River Capital's REO management and short sale services.

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