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Double Dip in Home Prices Threatens One in Five Markets

Despite what seemed to be a flattening - and in some cases even a reversal - of home price declines last year, there are signs that the dreaded ""double dip"" is developing in as many as one in five markets, Zillow says. While residential values in some markets appear to have found their bottom, the company has observed prices in such large metros as Boston, Atlanta, and San Diego to have leveled or begun to decrease again after consecutive monthly increases - early signs of what could become a second period of prolonged declines.

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Homeownership Hits Lowest Mark in a Decade

With foreclosures still rising and potential homebuyers still reluctant to get into the market, homeownership in the United States has hit a 10-year low. According to the Census Bureau, the homeownership rate fell to 67.2 percent at the end of last year. Homeownership has been on a steady downward slope since 2006, when housing woes began to eat away at the government's long-time push to make the American Dream a reality for anyone that wanted it.

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TenantAccess Addresses Aftermath of Tenant Foreclosure Law

In an effort to help the industry cope with the aftermath of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTAFA), Austin, Texas-based TenantAccess offers a comprehensive, end-to-end solution called the Tenant Protection Response Program (TPRP) and is now providing tier 1 banks, servicers, and asset managers relief from the property and tenant management responsibilities they have acquired as a result of this legislature.

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Short Sale and REO Executive Appointed at Bank of America Home Loans

According to a recent company announcement, Matt Vernon has been named short sale and real estate owned (REO) executive for Bank of America Homes Loans. In his new position, Vernon will develop and implement initiatives to manage and streamline the bank's efforts to use short sales and other property liquidation tools to prevent foreclosures. In addition, Vernon will oversee the management and marketing of properties in the bank's REO portfolio.

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LAMCO Bolsters Disaster Recovery Plan for REOs

Lenders Asset Management Corporation (LAMCO), a nationwide REO management company, said Thursday that it has enhanced its disaster recovery plan, which details LAMCO's procedures for responding to emergency situations, such as natural disasters or accidents, that could potentially threaten service level agreements.

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Mortgage Rates Begin an Upward Climb

The four week streak of falling mortgage rates ended this week, according to surveys released Thursday by Freddie Mac and Bankrate. However, despite this slight increase, mortgage rates remain relatively stable and are notably lower than rates this time last year.

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Residential Mortgage Delinquency Rate Surpasses 10%: LPS

Home loan delinquency rates in the United States have now surpassed 10 percent, Lender Processing Services (LPS) reported this week. When you factor in homes already in the foreclosure process, the total rate of noncurrent mortgages sits at 13.3 percent, according to the company's national loan-level database. This rate indicates that more than 7.2 million mortgage loans are now behind on payments, LPS explained, with another one million properties already taken back by banks and in REO status.

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Corvus Group Forms Troubled Asset Advisory Group

The Corvus Group, a Washington, D.C.-area firm with nearly $10 billion of real estate assets under management from failed banks, has formed a Troubled Asset Advisory Group (Corvus TAAG). The group, based in Chicago, says it provides specialized staffing and advisory services to companies involved with troubled and distressed commercial real estate and homebuilder/residential development debt.

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Fannie Mae Offers Subsidy for REO Purchases

Fannie Mae says it will cover the closing costs on purchases of its REO homes - an incentive the GSE hopes will help it pare down a bloated supply of repossessed properties. From now until May 1, people purchasing a home through HomePath, Fannie Mae's REO disposition operation, will receive up to 3.5 percent of the final sales price, which can be applied toward closing costs or used to purchase appliances for their new home. At the end of September, Fannie Mae had 72,275 REO properties on its books, marking a 7 percent increase year-over-year.

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