Real Estate News – May 26, 2011

Following the devastation in Joplin, Mo., and several other cities in the Midwest and Southern U.S., the National Association of REALTORS® has announced the REALTORS® Relief Foundation (RRF) will provide financial assistance to organizations in those areas to help with clean-up and reconstruction (via REALTORMag):

The top prosecutors in California and Illinois are investigating allegations that one of the nation’s largest mortgage processing companies engaged in the illegal practice of “robosigning” — signing thousands of foreclosure documents without checking their accuracy (via

Knights of Columbus, a charitable organization and an investor in mortgage-backed securities, is seeking a court order to learn more about foreclosure practices by Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. bank (via

Bank of America Corp. faces increased pressure from two attorneys general to change its mortgage- servicing and foreclosure practices as states said the bank and four other servicers may face $17 billion in claims (via

Qualified Residential Mortgage Regulations Threaten the Housing Market (via

Foreclosure sales are making up a big chunk of home sales across the country. In the first quarter (January through March) of this year, bank-owned home sales and homes in some stage of foreclosure made up 28 percent of all home sales in the country — which is up slightly from the fourth quarter of 2010 (27 percent), RealtyTrac reports. In some states, that percentage was even higher (via REALTORMag):

A private investor seeking a smaller government role in the U.S. housing market on Thursday clashed with housing-industry lobby groups who urged Congress to take its time to phase out mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie or risk limiting mortgage availability (via

Credit Suisse Group Inc. will pay $4.5 million and Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit will pay $3 million to resolve Financial Industry Regulatory Authority claims that they misrepresented delinquency data in issuing residential subprime mortgage securitizations (via

The 12th and final defendant involved in a massive Massachusetts mortgage-fraud ring has been sentenced to 70 months in prison, closing a case that stemmed from a federal investigation into sales of 21 properties from Cohasset to South Boston (via

Representative Barney Frank helped his then-companion land a job at mortgage giant Fannie Mae in the early 1990s at the same time Congress was writing legislation to improve oversight of the lender, according to New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgenson, who recently wrote a book examining the financial crises (via

Real estate investors are likely to be three times more active than other types of homebuyers in their local markets within the next two years, according to a nationwide survey from operator Move Inc. (via