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Head of IMF Calls for Principal Reductions for American Homeowners

The head of one of the world’s most powerful financial policy bodies has tossed her hat into the debate over mortgage principal reductions. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), says “the housing problem in the U.S. is something that needs to be addressed” and it is “a matter of urgency.”

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Attorney Fined More Than $50,000 for Frivolous MERS Lawsuits

A Minneapolis-based attorney has been sanctioned by a federal judge for filing one, in what appears to be a series of nearly 30 lawsuits based on what the court says are frivolous “show-me-the-note” defenses designed to thwart foreclosure proceedings in Minnesota – namely by calling into question the validity of MERS as mortgagee and authorized nominee of the noteholder.

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HPF Warns of Spike in Foreclosure Scams, Offers Tips

Mortgage foreclosure scams have surged nearly 60 percent this year following the launch of several federal programs, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) announced.

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CoreLogic: Best Markets for Single-Family Rental Investments

Single-family rental investing is a $3 trillion market, according to CoreLogic’s MarketPulse report, which further stated that the single-family rental market accounts for $21 million rental units, or 52 percent of the residential rental market.

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Federal Reserve Issues Policy Statement on Foreclosures as Rentals

The general policy of the Federal Reserve is that banking organizations should make every effort to dispose of foreclosed properties and get them off their books as quickly as feasibly possible.

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Still Time to Have Forgiven Mortgage Debt Excluded as Taxable Income

Homeowners who have had mortgage debt forgiven after a foreclosure, modification, or short sale may be able to exclude the canceled debt from their taxable income if they meet specific criteria.

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No Vacancies: Squatters Move In

Growing movements on both sides of the Atlantic try to turn bank-owned houses into homes. After three years of staying in her sister’s living room, Tene Smith decided to move her family into a home that had sat vacant on Chicago’s South Side for more than two years.

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Toms River Couple Sues Landlord Over Alleged Paranormal Activity

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Nighttime is fright time for a Toms River couple who claim the house they rented is haunted.

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Wells Fargo Lays Out Mathematics of the Robo-Signing Settlement

The first details on how mortgage servicers must fulfill their end of the $25 billion federal-state settlement can be found within the 233 pages of Wells Fargo’s 2011 annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week.

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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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