What We’re Reading: March 14-20

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The death of IE, timely satellite maps, and commuting times

Microsoft officially admitted that it’s phasing out its Internet Explorer web browser. The company will instead promote an as-yet unnamed browser, code-named Project Spartan. Once the browser of choice, IE’s popularity continues to decline as other more modern browsers have come to the fore. Do you still use IE?

mapHave you ever looked at ...

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Freddie Mac taps Capital One VP to lead affordable mortgage lending efforts

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Government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac has tapped Daniel Gardner, a longtime champion of affordable mortgage lending, to create new opportunities for low- and moderate-income borrowers and underserved communities.

Daniel Gardner

Daniel Gardner

Freddie Mac announced yesterday that Gardner, who has been vice president of Capital One’s Community Reinvestment Act Business Development and Multicultural Lending division since 2013, has been named vice president of the GSE’s Single Family ...

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Mortgage application platform synchs with Fannie Mae software

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Roostify, a Web and mobile platform designed to help speed homebuyers, real estate agents and lenders to the closing table, has integrated with mortgage giant Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system to streamline homebuyers’ mortgage applications.

Roostify’s integration with Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter allows Roostify users to:

  • Deliver a mortgage application directly to Desktop Underwriter for pre-approval,
  • obtain Desktop Underwriter findings and conditions upstream in the origination process, and
  • reduce the timeframe and steps needed to approve and process a loan application.

“We are excited to work with innovative companies like Roostify ...

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JPMorgan named as mystery buyer of Ocwen’s $45B MSR portfolio

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. has finally been identified as the buyer of $45 billion in mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) from Ocwen Financial Corp., according to a “Bloomberg” report published this week.

On March 2, Ocwen said it had signed a letter of intent to sell the MSRs on a portfolio of 277,000 Fannie Mae loans, but it did not name the buyer. The transaction still requires approval from Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, in addition to the fulfillment ...

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In a first, Homes.com powering MLS public-facing website

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Real estate media firm Homes.com is now powering the consumer-facing real estate search portal and website for the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors, which operates a multiple listing service for 3,600 members in northeastern Oklahoma.

Homes.com, the fourth most popular real estate portal in the nation, began powering the websites for national franchisor powerhouses Re/Max and ERA in 2012, but this is the first MLS public-facing site built on ...

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It will take a village to close a mortgage in 2015

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The broken process

The amount of time and effort it takes to close a mortgage is incredible. Many participants in the process work overtime, sometimes for over a month, or several months, per closing to make sure the customer is happy.

Unfortunately, the mortgage process itself often undermines all this hard work.

Buyers have to run all over town and deliver the same information to multiple parties so that the different players in the transaction have the necessary documentation. They are often stunned ...

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Coldwell Banker, Century 21 re-up with ListHub’s Real Estate Network

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Realogy franchisors Century 21 Real Estate and Coldwell Banker Real Estate have re-upped as members of the Real Estate Network, a program that lets brokers and multiple listing services send their listings to the national websites operated by franchisors and other real estate groups.

ListHub announced last week that the two other founding REN members — Re/Max and Realty Executives — had renewed their membership and that an independent brokerage network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the ...

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Select Live speaker Ginger Wilcox shares how she gets (and stays) ahead in real estate

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Next Wednesday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to noon PDT, Inman Select members will get exclusive access to the inaugural Select Live event — a live-stream conference that will feature some of the top minds in the industry sharing insights on market conditions, behaving like a leader, growing like a startup, authentic marketing, becoming as tech-savvy as your clients and learning how to digitally target your customers.

Foreclosure activity will return to normal this year

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The housing market is on the verge of shedding the escalated levels of foreclosure activity that have plagued it for close to a decade.

Foreclosure activity fell in February to its lowest level since July 2006, and should return to — or even dip below — historic norms this year, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at data aggregator RealtyTrac.

The eight-and-a-half year low in foreclosure activity marks a significant milestone for the housing market, given that the housing bubble peaked in August 2006, Blomquist said.

He ...

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AWA, access without authorization: Hacking and what it means to real estate

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As you learned in real estate school, fiduciary duty is the obligation you have to act in the best interest of your client at all times and to protect your client as well as your client’s vital information from the bad guys. There are a lot of bad guys.

According to a Gallup poll, 27 percent of Americans said that their credit card information had been stolen at least one time during the past year, and 11 percent said that their ...

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