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Bay Area and SoCal Hit Hard in California’s Slipping Home Sales

July home sales in the state of California were down 19.9 percent from June and 21.9 percent from a year ago, MDA DataQuick reports. In the Bay Area, home sales for that month dropped sharply to their lowest level in 15 years, down 22.8 percent from July 2009. Southern California was also pummeled with its biggest year-over-year drop in more than two years, down 21.4 percent from 2009. On the positive end, the median price paid for a home last month in California was up 7.2 percent compared to a year ago.

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DRI’s New Default Management Platform Assists Overburdened Servicers

Default process management software provider DRI Management Systems, Inc., has announced its new Web-based, loan servicing application for the mortgage industry, Rincon. According to the California-based company, the Rincon platform helps overburdened servicers keep pace with demands for borrower assistance. Rincon is expected to double or triple the workload each servicing specialist can handle.

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Property Management Company Grows with Lease-and-Hold Strategy

Real Property Management says it has transitioned thousands of REO properties into rentals by using a lease and hold strategy. The company offers its rental initiatives to former owners of foreclosed properties or to new tenants, and says local, regional, and national banks, as well as other mortgage owners are now turning to a lease and hold strategy as REO inventories balloon.

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Existing-Home Sales Post Worst Showing in More than a Decade

Sales of previously owned homes in the United States plummeted 27.2 percent in July compared to the previous month, according to data released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The market was bracing for a noticeable falloff as payback for the tax credits that pulled sales forward into the spring months, but the reality was worse than projected - nearly double the decline analysts were expecting. The July plunge pushed existing-home sales down to an annual rate of 3.83 million units, their lowest level since May of 1995.

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GSEs’ Foreclosure Pipelines Will Grow Well into 2011: S&P

Despite the continued efforts of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to find sustainable workouts for delinquent borrowers, the analysts at Standard & Poor's expect the GSEs' foreclosure inventories to continue to swell. The two companies have each already completed about 40 percent more workout volume during the first half of 2010 than they did in all of 2009. Still, the ratings agency says annualized loan workout activity (as a percentage of existing delinquent loans) remains less than half at both institutions.

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Housing Market Continues to See First-Time Buyer Exodus

First-time homebuyers continued to desert the housing market in July, according to a new industry study released Monday. Campbell Surveys says first-time homebuyers accounted for only 39 percent of the home purchase market last month. That's down from a peak of 48 percent as recently as March. The research firm, though, reported that short sales remain one of the few bright spots in the housing market. Time-on-market for short sales continued to decline, from an average of 20.5 weeks in February to 15.8 weeks in July.

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RES.NET Connects with Bid4Assets for Foreclosure Liquidations

Asset management software developer RES.NET announced Thursday that it has completed a data integration agreement with the online real estate auction firm Bid4Assets.com. The partnership allows RES.NET's clients to directly feed real estate property listings to Bid4Assets.com for additional exposure to the auction site's over 500,000 buyers in liquidating foreclosed properties.

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Real Estate Software Provider eBrokerHouse Reaches $1B Milestone

Las Vegas-based real estate software firm eBrokerHouse has announced that its users have closed over $1 billion in traditional, REO, and short sale transactions since the company launched its Web-based management software just 16 months ago. The company's president, Thomas Moore, credits the ability of their software to manage all types of listings, buyers, and virtually every aspect of an agent's business as a main reason why eBrokerHouse hit this milestone so quickly.

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Steel Mountain Capital Initiates SMART Asset Management

SMART Servicing, LLC, an affiliate of Steel Mountain Capital Management, recently announced the availability of its new privately owned software, ""SMART""--Servicing Management Asset Recovery & Tracking. The system provides residential mortgage professionals with relevant loan-level information to control loss severity, as well as asset-level transparency outside the traditional servicing system formats, the company says.

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REO Firm Hires Industry Veteran for Key National Sales Role

San Diego-based New Vista Asset Management, a nationwide provider of REO asset management services, announced Tuesday that foreclosure industry veteran Ivan Choi is the company's new national default sales executive. Choi has 15 years' experience in the foreclosure and mortgage banking market. He previously held executive positions with Prospect Mortgage and Bank of America.

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