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Author Archives: Esther Cho

Field Servicing Companies Taken Under Common Ownership

Three prominent mortgage field service companies will fall under the ownership of one new holding company. The company, formed by Concentric Equity Partners (CEP) and TDR Capital (TDR), will own Mortgage Contracting Services, LLC (MCS), Asset Management Specialists, Inc., (AMS) and Vacant Property Specialists, LLC (VPS).

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Fannie Mae Releases STAR Results for Top Servicers

The results are out for Fannie Mae's program that recognizes top performing servicers. For the first half of the year, the GSE recognized Green Tree Servicing, Nationstar Mortgage, Ocwen Financial Corporation, PHH Mortgage Corporation, PNC Financial Services Group, Seterus, and Wells Fargo for their performance and customer service. For the first time, the 2013 midyear results also included key metrics to measure servicer performance and foreclosure prevention efforts.

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Home Prices Up 1.2% in June, Texas Metros Post New Highs

National home prices rose 1.2 percent month-over-month to $229,000 in June, according to Lender Processing Services' Home Price Index (HPI). Out of the 40 large metro areas LPS tracks, three in Texas reached new highs: Austin ($237,000), Dallas ($182,000), and Houston ($181,000). Denver also established a new high-water mark of $265,000. At the same time, San Antonio is just 0.3 percent below its August 2007 peak, while Honolulu sits 2.1 percent below its 2007 peak.

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Director of Sales Joins NXTLoan


NXTLoan | First American Mortgage Trust, a lender specializing in FHA 203(k) loans, hired Rob Philion as director of sales and national sales manager. Philion brings more than 14 years of experience in leadership positions at financial institutions to the company.

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Median Home Prices Dip as Inventory Declines Level

While inventory was down in July compared to last year and the prior month, the decreases were more conservative, which means home price gains should slow, according to RE/MAX's most recent housing survey. July inventory was 1.3 percent below the level in June and 20.7 percent lower compared to a year ago. However, inventory expanded month-over-month in 18 of the metros tracked. News for home sales was also positive, with closed transactions climbing 17 percent year-over-year and inching up 1.5 percent month-over-month.

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Asking Prices Lose Steam in July

Trulia reported a 0.3 percent decline in asking prices from June to July--the first drop since November 2012. While monthly changes can be volatile, Trulia explained the quarter-over-quarter change in asking prices confirms the slowdown, with July asking prices improving just 3.3 percent over the last quarter compared to the peak of 4.2 percent in April. Over the last year, asking prices were still strong, rising 11 percent, though Trulia noted the change won't be as apparent since the annual average is based on a longer time period.

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Report: Borrower Confusion Limiting HARP’s Influence

A report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General (FHFA OIG) found a lack of borrower education is a critical barrier to the performance of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). "[M]any borrowers have not heard of the program, confuse the program with other government housing programs, or do not realize that they are eligible," the report stated. In address borrower misconceptions, FHFA announced plans to implement a nationwide public relations campaign to inform borrowers.

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