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C.A.R. Announces Support for Bill to Prevent REO Initiative in California

When it comes to handling foreclosure inventory, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (C.A.R.) has made it clear it does not see the need for government intervention in its state. The association recently announced its support for California Congressmen Gary Miller (R-Brea) and seven California lawmakers for introducing legislation that calls for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to halt its plan to sell Fannie Mae REO properties to institutional investors through bulk sales in California.

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Combined Foreclosure Activity Wanes, Up in Certain States: RealtyTrac

Foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - totaled 188,780 in April 2012, which is the lowest monthly total since July 2007, according to RealtyTrac's Foreclosure Market Report. April foreclosure activity also fell 5 percent from the previous month and was down 14 percent from a year ago in April. When analyzing foreclosure activity according to judicial processes, non-judicial states declined both yearly and monthly, while judicial states decreased monthly but not yearly.

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Housing Recovery to Occur in Two Phases: Demand Institute

The housing recovery will come in two phases. First, home prices will rise by just under 1 percent in the second half of 2012. In 2013, prices will rise by 1.5 percent, then go up another 2.5 percent in 2014. For the second phase, home prices will increase 3 to 3.5 percent between 2015 and 2017. These are the predictions from a report released by the Demand Institute, which is jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. The report, titled The Shifting Nature of U.S. Housing Demand, stated investors who buy rental properties will lead phase one of the recovery, as opposed to buyers who purchase properties as their own residence.

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Barclays Advocates Short Sales to Lower Loss Severities

With vacant homes stretching the capacity of banks' balance sheets and homebuyer demand lackluster at best, short sales are becoming a top loss mitigation choice for private lenders and investors, particularly in especially hard-hit markets. According to Barclays Capital, the benefits of pursuing a short sale are compelling for servicers and investors who are able to liquidate delinquent loans in an expedited fashion with fewer payment and interest (P&I) advances and who take ""quasi"" possession of the property in better condition and at better prices than REO, lowering severities.

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REO Allegiance CEO Recognized for Business Leadership

REO Allegiance, a national property preservation firm, recently announced that its president and CEO Lisa Sadaoui has been nominated and selected as a Leading Woman Entrepreneur and Business Owner of New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. Nominees were selected for the award based on innovation, market potential, community involvement, and advocacy for women.

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Shadow Inventory: 46 Months to Clear Distressed Housing Supply

It will take 46 months to clear the market's supply of distressed homes, or the shadow inventory, according to estimates from Standard & Poor's Rating Services based on first-quarter 2012 data. While national residential mortgage liquidation rates appeared stable over the first three months of this year, these rates varied widely between local markets. Regional variations in how quickly servicers can clear the backlog of nonperforming loans are primarily due to differences in foreclosure procedures. S&P says its months-to-clear estimate in judicial states is almost 2.5x as long as non-judicial states.

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Florida Seeing Rapid Revivals but Still Haunted by Shadow Inventory

As one of the hardest hit states during the real estate downturn, Florida often pops up in market reports as having a noticeably higher foreclosure rate than other states. Even so, the state is also becoming recognized for how quickly some of its markets are climbing out of the housing slump. For example, the National Association of Realtors recently cited data from Move Inc. showing the top 10 turnaround markets. Seven out of 10 were in Florida. Yet, a recent report from Florida Realtors stated that while Florida is in a revival period, distressed properties will remain a big factor for the next 10 years.

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Freddie Mac Appoints Private Sector Banking Exec to CEO Post

Freddie Mac said Thursday that its board of directors has selected Donald H. Layton to serve as the company's new CEO. Layton will join the GSE on May 21, and will also have a seat on the board of directors. In October 2011, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that Charles E. Haldeman, Jr. had informed Freddie Mac's board of his desire to step down within the year. Haldeman served as the GSE's CEO since August 2009. Layton has had a long career in the private banking and financial services sectors. He worked for nearly 30 years at JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors and more recently, served as chairman and CEO of E*Trade Financial.

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With $2.7B Profit, Fannie Mae Ends Q1 Without Drawing Taxpayer Funds

Fannie Mae said Wednesday that it brought in $2.7 billion dollars in net income during the first quarter of this year, and for the first time since it was seized by the government in September of 2008, the company does not need a draw of taxpayer funds from Treasury to get out of the red. Fannie Mae says its improving numbers can be traced to lower credit-related expenses as the decline in home prices slowed and the company shed some of its REO holdings.

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Fiserv Expects Home Prices to Stabilize This Year Despite Price Declines

Analyzing the housing market through the perspective of 384 markets, Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes pointed to a slow, but steady pace toward recovery after dramatic price declines. According to the Fiserv indexes, in the fourth quarter of 2011, home prices in 70 of the 384 metro areas tracked were either unchanged or had increased compared to the same quarter a year ago. Also, 122 of the metros saw prices decline by less than 2 percent. On the other hand, nearly one-half of the metro areas, or 191, saw prices decrease by more than 2 percent.

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