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Colorado Attorney General Reaches Settlement with LPS

In Colorado, Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS), has reached a settlement with the state's attorney general. Concluding the investigation into document execution practices by subsidiaries of LPS, the company has agreed to provide payment and reimbursement fees in exchange for a release of potential liability.

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NCUA Names New Director for Consumer Protection Office

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The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) selected Gail Laster to lead as director of the Office of Consumer Protection, a senior management position within the agency. Laster will begin her position November 19 and succeeds Kent Buckham, who is retiring after more than 35 years of service.

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Freddie Mac Offers Mortgage Relief to Hurricane Sandy Victims

Homeowners with mortgages guaranteed by Freddie Mac may be eligible for payment relief if they are located in an area that has been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The GSE announced it is encouraging servicers to help borrowers through different forms of assistance such as suspending foreclosure and eviction proceedings for up to a year, waiving penalties or late fees against borrowers with disaster-damaged homes, and not reporting delinquencies caused by the disaster to credit bureaus.

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LoanSifter Reports New Performance Benchmarks for Speed, Reliability

LoanSifter, Inc., announced it has set new performance benchmarks for speed, accuracy, and uptime for LoanSifter, its flagship product and pricing engine (PPE). According to officials representing the Appleton, Wisconsin-based company, the average search on the PPE fell to 1.29 seconds in 2012, down from 2.22 seconds in 2011. In addition, LoanSifter's real-time loan pricing and product eligibility information has an accuracy level of 99.998 percent between 2011 and 2012.

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Office Loan Defaults Bring CMBS Default Rate Up in Q3

The cumulative default rate for commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) in the U.S. rose over the third quarter, largely due to an increase in defaults among office loans, according to the latest data from Fitch Ratings. The rate rose from 13.2 percent in the second quarter of this year to 13.5 percent in the third quarter, according to Fitch. Office loans made up more than half of both newly defaulted loans in the third quarter and year-to-date defaults, according to the ratings agency.

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Homeownership Increases in Q3, Rate Remains Flat

The number of owner-occupied homes reached 75,076,000 in the third quarter, increasing from 74,832,000 in the second but down from 75,251,000 a year ago, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. At the same time, the nation's homeownership rate (seasonally adjusted) remained near historic lows, hovering at 65.5 percent. The stagnant homeownership rate combined with a decline in the number of units held off the market suggests opportunities for home sales.

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Case-Shiller Price Index Reaches 2-Year High in August

U.S. home prices continued to increase in August as the Case Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose 0.9 percent to its highest level since September 2010. The index is up 2.0 percent in the last year, showing improvement in 19 of the 20 cities surveyed. The 10-city also rose 0.9 percent in August, increasing 1.3 percent ahead of August 2011 and reaching its highest level since October 2010. The monthly gain in each index was slower than in July, when the 10-city index went up 1.5 percent and the 20-city index improved 1.6 percent.

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DataQuick: Prices See Monthly Increase in 40 out of 42 Counties

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.

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