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Best of the Blogs, Real Estate: Bank of America Helps 200,000 Struggling Homeowners


Plus, Fannie Mae's SF REO inventory as of March 31.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful financial commentary on real estate from around the Web every Friday.

Link: Bank of America extends principal reduction modification offers to 200,000 struggling homeowners
"If Bank of America's (BAC) National Mortgage Settlement deal is any indication of what's to come from other lenders, hard-working homeowners who pay their mortgage are, well, it rhymes with shucked.

"BofA is offering principal reductions of tens of thousands of dollars -- some reports say as much as $150,000 -- but only to those who are at least 60 days behind on payments as of Jan. 31, 2012."

Calculated Risk: Finance & Economics
Link: Lawler: Fannie SF REO Inventory: Total vs. "List/Available for Sale"

"In its latest 10-Q filing Fannie Mae (FNM.SG) showed the distribution of the 'status' of its SF REO inventory, including the % it was unable to 'market' for various reasons. (Fannie's SF REO inventory as of 3/31/2012 totaled 114,157 properties, down 25.5% from last March).

"Of Fannie's 114,157 SF REO properties, almost half – 54,795 – were characterized as being 'unable to market' (meaning can't be listed for sale). Another 11,416 were not yet 'listed' or 'available' for sale because the properties were still being appraised (so that a list price can be determined). That left just 47,946 properties that were available for sale (listed), of which 22,831 already had a purchase offer accepted but which had not yet closed escrow."

National Association of Realtors
Link: Short Sales to Increase in 2012

"The number of short sales grew steadily through the end of 2011 and is expected to continue to grow in 2012. NAR Research estimates that the number of short sales in the United States will increase by 9.2% in 2012. This trend will continue a shift towards alternative methods of transitioning underwater owners who can no longer afford their mortgages out of homeownership without excess cost to banks and negative ramifications on homeowners of foreclosure."

Link: Judicial vs. Non-Judicial

"America's foreclosure crisis may have peaked across much of the country – though tough times are far from over, according to data released this week by CoreLogic.

"In the first three months of this year, 198,000 homes were foreclosed upon – down 14.7 percent from the same quarter in 2011. And the number of borrowers who are past-due on their mortgages is at its lowest point since July 2009, said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. And in areas where foreclosures first skyrocketed, the improvements have been most pronounced."

Reality Biz News: Real Estate & Business News
Link: The Responsible Homeowners Refinancing Act of 2012 Pushes for HARP 3.0

"It's not the HARP 3.0 rumored to be in the pipeline, but the Responsible Homeowners Refinancing Act of 2012 would boost HARP 2.0 and provide additional refinance relief for households struggling to make the mortgage payment.

"Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) were scheduled to introduce legislation this week designed to remove barriers faced by refinancing homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans."

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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