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REO

FHFA Reveals 3rd Winner for REO Initiative, C.A.R. Voices Disapproval

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a third bidder scooped up properties in three states for the agency's REO-to-rental initiative, leaving Atlanta as the sole metro in the program with no winning bidder. Colony Capital, LLC purchased 970 properties in Los Angeles and Riverside, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and Las Vegas, Nevada, the agency revealed Thursday. In a statement Monday, C.A.R. said, ""Fannie Mae and FHFA’s decision to move forward with the REO bulk sale in California amounts to another gift to Wall Street at the expense of taxpayers.""

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California Investigation into Bid Rigging Charges 26th Person

A California real estate investor became the 26th person to plead guilty or agree to plead guilty as a result of antitrust investigations from the Justice Department into bid rigging and fraud at real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California. The ongoing investigations are focused on real estate foreclosure auctions in San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, and Alameda counties. Norman Montalvo of Concord, California was charged with four felonies in San Francisco federal court, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Norman Montalvo, of Concord, California was charged with four counts of felony in San Francisco federal court, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

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Nation Adds 171k Jobs in October; Unemployment Rate Up to 7.9%

The nation’s unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent in October as the economy added 171,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. The labor force--the sum of employed and unemployed--improved in October, causing the bump in the unemployment rate and signaling renewed confidence among those on the sidelines that jobs are available. Job creation for the two prior months was revised upward: 148,000 in September instead of the originally reported 114,000 and 192,000 instead of the 142,000 reported in August.

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Mortgage Insurers Join GSEs in Effort to Shorten Short Sale Process

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicers will be able to skip a step when attempting to get a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure approved. On Wednesday, the GSEs announced standard delegation agreements were reached with nine mortgage insurers to allow servicers to approve of short sales and deeds-in-lieu without a separate review process with the mortgage insurer. The agreement takes effect November 1, along with additional short sale guidelines the GSEs announced in August.

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Completed Foreclosures Down 31% from Year Ago, but Remain High

Completed foreclosures continued their descent into September, falling 31 percent from a year ago, according to data from CoreLogic. The analytics company reported the number of homes lost to foreclosure in September dropped to 57,000. The decline is a steep drop from 83,000 in September 2011, and a decrease from the upwardly revised 59,000 in August. Before the housing crises, completed foreclosures were much lower than the sinking figures reported recently. Between 2000 and 2006, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month.

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Foreclosures Cost Nearly $2 Trillion in Home Equity: Report

In the report from the Center for Responsible Lending, researchers conclude that based on the 10.9 million loans that entered foreclosure between 2007 and 2011, approximately $1.95 trillion in property value has been lost or will be lost by residents who live close to foreclosed properties. This estimate includes losses stemming from completed foreclosures and future losses projected on foreclosure starts. The average spillover cost per family is or will be $21,000 in household wealth, or 7 percent of median home value, according to the report.

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DataQuick: 40 Out of 42 Counties Post Monthly Price Gains

In September, home prices improved in nearly all of the largest counties throughout the United States as tracked by DataQuick. According to the company's new Property Intelligence Report (PIR), home prices grew in 40 out of 42 counties month-over-month, while prices improved in all 42 counties from the previous quarter and over the last year. DataQuick suggested the PIR is displaying evidence the recovery in housing is underway, but the PIR found an uneven recovery, with some areas facing risk factors, such as high REO inventory.

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LOGS Network Welcomes New Member Firm Serving Colorado

LOGS Network, a consortium of default-related firms providing legal and outsourcing solutions for the residential mortgage and consumer credit industries, has added Janeway Law Firm, PC, to its network. Serving the entire state of Colorado, the newest member of LOGS is a full-service law firm and a member of the Fannie Mae retained attorney network.

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Agents Suggest Banks May Be Holding onto REOs

A sharp drop in distressed sales is one of the main drivers behind the steady rise in home prices seen in certain areas throughout the country, according to the monthly Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse survey. In September, the HousingPulse Distressed Property Index (DPI) hit a record low of 38.6 percent based on a three-month moving average. HousingPulse respondents reported major banks seem to be keeping many REO properties off the market this year, but suggested banks may look to release ""significant amounts"" of bank-owned properties next year, which could lead to lower home prices. When real estate agents were asked about the impact of the upcoming national elections, responses were mixed.

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