Piece by Piece
New Borrower Protections
AHAND Director Discusses New CFPB Rule
Foreclosures Fall in 2012
Lawrenceville Zip Tops Nation
Inventory at 5-Year Low
Secretary Donovan Staying
Calendar Items


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Piece by Piece Update

January 25, 2013





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


New National Servicing Standards Outline Strong Borrower Protections



(Courtesy of NHC)  At a field hearing held in Atlanta last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a final rule to regulate mortgage servicers, and implement consumer protections from the Dodd-Frank law. Many of the changes mirror standards developed for the national mortgage settlement. The new standards include (also see CFPB's helpful summary):  

  • Limitations on dual-tracking of loss mitigation and foreclosure proceedings
  • Early outreach to borrowers if delinquent on a payment
  • Prompt notification of foreclosure alternatives
  • Timelines for servicers to meet when contacting and responding to borrowers
  • Single application for loss mitigation with prompt and fair review
  • No foreclosure sale until all loss mitigation options are exhausted
  • No foreclosure sale if a loss mitigation agreement is in place
  • Rules for force-placed insurance
  • Specific explanation to borrowers for denial of a loss mitigation application.

CBS Evening News Interviews AHAND Director on New CFPB Rule


(Courtesy of CBS):

Thursday's move by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to announce new rules aimed at making mortgages safer makes me think back a decade to where we were in 2003.

The real estate market was hot, hot, hot, with properties snatched up in minutes after being listed. Homebuyers earning $50,000 per year were being approved for $500,000 mortgages, "no-doc" and interest-only loans with "teaser" interest rates being the norm. Those were the "good old days," much longed for by both real estate agents and mortgage lenders. Flash forward to today, when the CFPB set forth new regulations for homebuyers and investors seeking mortgages.   MORE



Foreclosures Fall in 2012; Georgia Remains Among Hardest Hit States


(Courtesy of AJC): The rate of foreclosure actions in Georgia fell last year compared to 2011 as it did across the country, according to a report released recently by RealtyTrac. But the state remains among the nation's hardest hit. Georgia ranked fourth in the nation in 2012 in foreclosure rate as it did a year earlier. One in every 39 homes in the state received a foreclosure filing last year, a slight improvement from one in every 37 homes in 2011. Florida, Nevada and Arizona were the top three states for foreclosure rates in the nation, while Illinois was fifth. MORE



Lawrenceville Zip Code has Highest Foreclosure Rate in Country; 14 Metro Atlanta Neighborhoods in Top 100


(Courtesy of CNN Money): The foreclosure crisis is slowly easing, but in some of the nation's neighborhoods it feels like it has just begun. Florida, Illinois and Georgia were home to the largest number of zip codes with the highest foreclosure rates of 2012, displacing former title holders California, Nevada and Arizona, which accounted for 81 of the top 100 zip codes in 2011.  The hardest hit zip code in the Country was in Lawrenceville, Ga. (zip code 30045), nearly 13% of homes -- 1 out of every 8 -- received some kind of foreclosure notice last year making it the hardest hit zip code in the country. This Gwinnett community has seen home prices plunge by more than 40% from the early 2006 peak, according to real estate site Zillow.  MORE    INTERACTIVE MAP



National For-Sale Housing Inventory at Five-Year Low


(Courtesy oWSJ): The number of homes listed for sale at the end of 2012 stood at the lowest level in more than five years, a development that helps explain why home prices have rebounded so strongly over the past year. The 1.57 million homes listed for sale at the end of December was down by 6.5% from November and by 17.3% from one year ago, according to data tracked by Realtor.com.  Inventories typically decline in December, January and February as home-shopping activity cools. But the big story of 2012 was that inventories never really picked up, despite big declines in the previous year.  Inventories were down in all of the nation's 30 largest housing markets, compared for 2012 as a whole, led by a jaw-dropping 68% decline in Sacramento, Calif. Other markets with big year-over-year declines included Seattle (45%); San Francisco (43%); Los Angeles (40%); Orange County in California and Atlanta (39%); and San Diego (38%).  Median listing prices were mostly unchanged from one year ago, with declines in just five markets: Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Charlotte. Median listing prices posted the largest annual gains in Sacramento, San Francisco, Phoenix and Atlanta.    MORE



Secretary Shaun Donovan to Remain at HUD for Second Term


(Courtesy of Reuters): Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will continue in his current role for a second term under the agency confirmed last week.  During the second term, Donovan is expected to focus on ensuring FHA solvency and developing concrete plans on the government's future role in the mortgage market, including the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  MORE






January 30th 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
SolidHires, Operation: Hire a Hero, VFW Post 2681, 140 Powers Ferry Road SE, Marietta, GA, (open to the public);


February 12, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
The Center for Community Progress will conduct Reusing Vacant Properties. This workshop will address how to create reuse strategies by understanding sites and areas, alternative reuse, demolition and more. Registration is $40 for this workshop or $75 for all three workshops (including the ones on Jan. 24th and March. 14). 


February 18-22, 2013
NeighborWorks Training Institute, Atlanta
For workshop descriptions and registration information available at www.nw.org


Wednesday, March 6, 2013 

GREFPAC 9th Annual Education Conference

GREFPAC's 9th Annual Education Conference will be held March 6, 2013 at the Cobb Galleria Centre.  The agenda is being finalized, and outstanding speakers will address evolving fraud trends, as well as best practices to detect and prevent fraud.  CE credits will be available for attorneys, real estate brokers and salespersons, appraisers, and CFEs.  



March 14, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
The Center for Community Progress will conduct a seminar entitled Taking Control of and Managing Problem Properties. As a critical element to ensure there is a pathway for reuse, how do you create the systems to manage and acquire problem properties? This workshop will look at land banking, tax foreclosure, vacant property inventories and other tools for gaining control of persistent problem properties. Registration is $40 for this workshop or $75 for all three workshops (including the ones on Jan. 24th and Feb. 12).   EVENT REGISTRATION


Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



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