Commentary: One Month In

Worth the wait: Full results for this year’s REBAs have now been posted, for anyone who’s been waiting or is curious how everything played out. We think you’ll find some surprises in looking at who ended up where, so be sure to take a look. Patting ourselves on the back: It’s hard to believe it, but HW has only been around for just over a month – and it’s been a dizzying ride so far. We’ve seen more than 10,000 unique visitors and 30,000 page views in our first thirty days, and I’d like to think that’s a pretty good start for a news blog. We’ve averaged roughly 10 new subscribers a day to the HW Daily Update, and in looking at our growing subscriber list, seeing names like Wachovia, Greenpoint, HUD, Credit Suisse, GMAC, NationStar, Litton/C-BASS, New Century, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and many more means a broad range of mortgage professionals have already come to rely on the information we provide here. If you haven’t yet subscribed, be sure to subscribe today….

Rumors: With so many subprime shops taking a bow this month (the most recently reported being Rose Mortgage and Millennium), it’s probably no surprise to hear that one of the nation’s largest lenders, Countrywide, is allegedly having some closed-door sessions with Bank of America, according to the Financial Times. While the discussions would seem to hint at a possible rough road ahead for the top dogs, larger subprime operations seem to be weathering the storm so far….although it appears things could keep getting bloodier for smaller subprime lenders. Make sure to catch HW on Monday for news of the latest lender to close its doors. Jumping someone else’s ship: Not to bring attention to our own errors here at HW, but we recently picked up a story about First American’s settlement of charges that it had been illegally marketing its title services in the state of California. We incorrectly read a portion of the docket, and were quickly corrected by one of the sharp-minded reporters over at the excellent Inman News (who was, coincendentally, among the first media outlets to shed light on the settlement agreement). We bring this up because in spite of our error, which has since been corrected, this is probably one of the biggest stories of the past week — and with how quickly news can scroll off the home page here at HW, you may have missed it the first time around. Final take: Our idea to introduce the first awards program for real estate bloggers generated more buzz than you could shake a stick at. More than 6,000 votes were cast in the inaugural awards program. And I didn’t even mention all of the opinions the contest generated among everyone in the real estate blogos – I took it upon myself to read most of what was out there, and I can tell you HW is listening. Next year’s version of the REBAs will include a nomination period, where the final list of nominees will be determined from submissions from readers. Congratulations again to all those who won this year, as well as those who were nominated! Gone missing: Two of the winners have yet to respond and claim their prizes. If we don’t hear from them by the end of this month, we’re donating the unclaimed prize dollars to Habitat for Humanity. Be sure to catch HW starting Monday — one confirmed subprime lender exits, while another of the nation’s largest subprime shops is facing rampant speculation about its future. We’ll have it all covered.

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