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Do Principal Reductions Subsidize Consumer Debt at Investors' Expense?

Principal reductions have been approached with some reluctance and much debate throughout the industry, but as part of the recent $25 billion settlement with the state attorneys general, the nation’s largest servicers have agreed to administer the loss mitigation tactic.

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FHA Raises Insurance Premiums

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has seen its capital reserves quickly dissipate over the past few years amid a growing number of mortgage defaults and payouts on insurance claims. In an effort to bolster its capital cushion, the federal agency has announced a new premium structure for FHA-insured single-family mortgage loans.

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Moody's Analytics Outlines Settlement Impact for Banks and Borrowers

After more than a year of intense negotiations, 49 state attorneys general and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers reached a $25 billion settlement on February 9. While the agreement allotted specific amounts to go towards certain areas of relief for borrowers, including $10 million to write down principal on underwater mortgages, many are wondering how the decision between federal and state officials and the nation’s top servicers will impact the housing market.

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Short Sales Bring 24% Greater Returns than Foreclosures

The real estate professionals at McGeough Lamacchia Realty have been proponents of short sales for quite some time, insisting that everyone comes out ahead when a short sale is achieved as opposed to a foreclosure.

Now they're sharing the facts that back up their claim: On average a home sold through short sale brings a 24 percent Maximum hard drive file recovery software transfer rate1. greater return than a foreclosed property. The firm reviewed prices for short sale and foreclosure sale properties in 2010 and 2011 in Boston, Phoenix, Tuscon, Southern California, and Southwest Florida.

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Landlords beware fraudulent tenants

UK - Liverpool firm Bluerow Lettings is warning that landlords should beware of fraudulent tenants. A number of insurance firms and lettings agents have reported a rise in the number of cases involving property owners being hit by fraudulent tenants.

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Follow how landlords and tenants fare as the rental market booms

One of the housing-market stories worth tracking this year is the boon in local rental markets.  As many families exit homeownership, by choice or due to financial struggle, they still need somewhere to live.

And as I reported in an earlier blog post, that trend is reflected in building permits and construction of multiple-family dwellings, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Wall Street May Soon Be Your Landlord

NEWSER) – Wall Street firms may soon have a new gig: landlord. A number of them are looking into getting directly involved in real estate, buying up foreclosed properties from Fannie Mae in bulk, reports the Wall Street Journal. They couldn't then flip the houses—per the deal, they would rent out the properties and not resell them for several years, in an attempt to unclog the housing market.

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Experian’s new Rental Exchange to record tenants’ payments to landlords for inclusion in credit checks

UK - PRIVATE tenants’ success at keeping up with their rental payments will be included on credit reports under plans announced by credit reference agency Experian.

The scheme allows landlords registered for the initiative to share information on a secure website and could help tenants get better access to mainstream low-cost credit, Experian said.

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The New Growth Business: Becoming a Landlord

By STEVE YODER, The Fiscal Times

After years of losses and disappointments, those hoping to make a buck in U.S. real estate are back. Investors from Warren Buffett to mega financiers like GTIS Partners to small-time wholesalers are looking to cash in on the U.S. housing market. Though home prices have continued to fall in most parts of the country, a rapidly improving rental market has prompted many investors to become landlords.

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Year of the landlord?

Year of the landlord?

Forget the flip. It’s time to buy and hold – at least in real estate.

A recent news release from HomeVestors (the “We buy ugly houses people”) says that more of its franchisees are buying homes as rental properties, planning to catch the wave of people who are renting homes instead of buying them.

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Landlord declines Section 8 program, tenant faces eviction

Bridgeport, Conn. (WTNH) - A Bridgeport woman is facing eviction after her landlord decided not to participate in the Section 8 housing assistance program.

The woman and landlord have had a great relationship, but because funding was cut to Section 8 the landlord would get less rent, which he can't afford.

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Landlords Required to Pay Tenant Past Due Water Bills

MANSFIELD, OH -- Landlords have asked city officials to reconsider an ordinance requiring property owners to pay off past-due water bills before opening a new account.  Their appearance at Tuesday night's city council meeting was triggered by amendments to current ordinances.

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REO Properties Are Moving Faster: Survey

Homebuyer demand appears to be intensifying, especially among lower-priced REO properties, according to an industry study released Tuesday. Time-on-market for move-in ready REO was just 10.1 weeks in November, the lowest in 15 months, according to the HousingPulse survey. Time-on-market for damaged REO was even lower at 9.0 weeks, also the lowest in 15 months. The HousingPulse survey polls approximately 2,500 real estate agents nationwide each month to assess market trends surrounding homes sales.  Read More

Housing Answer: Principal Reduction?

Some experts say the housing answer is not just lowering interest rates but also actually reducing principal. In other words, these experts are encouraging banks to write down the principal and interest rates to current market value, which according to some experts would save homeowners $71 billion each year.  Read More

Real Estate Investors: Understanding Your Bankruptcy Options

Real estate investors must be aware of the opportunities available through the Bankruptcy Code. Navigating this complex discipline depends on wise counsel and effective representation. To keep this ship afloat - to enable investors and companies to reach a more ideal destination - requires a thorough understanding of the obstacles (and opportunities) that define our current economy.  Read More

Edgewater FL drops requirement for landlords to pay tenant's water bills

EDGEWATER, FL -- It will now be up to the water users to pay for what they use.

After years of requiring property owners to provide water to tenants living in their properties, the City Council on Monday instructed staff to change its policy on who pays for that water.

"We are placing the responsibility on the responsible parties," said Councilman Justin Kennedy, who lead the charge for change.  Read More

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