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Brokerage firm caters short sales to Hispanic community

Integra Group Real Estate, a brokerage firm that specializes in REO, formed a short-sale department in Arizona.

The new department will process short sale transactions for all communities, but the firm said Hispanic homeowners are more than twice as likely to be impacted by subprime loans than non-Hispanics in the area. Integra said it would provide bilingual support and expertise to help these homeowners achieve short sales instead of foreclosures.

"The short sale department enables homeowners to sell the property with the appropriate valuation in the shortest time and avoid the ramifications of having a foreclosure on their credit history," said Eric Lichtenheld, president of Integra Group.

Pima County, which includes Tucson and is where Integra operates, holds an 11.9% vacancy rate compared to a normal rate of between 1% and 2%, according to the firm.

"With the launch of our short sale department, we are dedicated to providing homeowners selling alternatives, decreasing the number of foreclosed homes and helping stabilize the neighborhoods in Southern Arizona by maintaining asset values," Lichtenheld said.

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