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Open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy. The opinions expressed here represent the author's alone.

Does the Senate's housing bill encourage foreclosures?

An interesting take from the editorialists over at the Washington Post argues Monday that one of the little-noticed provisions in the Senate's most recent housing proposal may actually encourage foreclosures. We're referring, of course, to the $7,000 tax credit, payable over two years, to anyone who purchases a foreclosed home. The WaPo considers:
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Integrated Asset Services gets the US News treatment

Regular HW readers probably know I got my start in the default side of the mortgage industry -- and I usually cringe when I see how non-financial media handle interviews with industry experts. But Luke Mullins over at US News hits one out of the park today with none other than Integrated Asset Services' own Ryan Tomazin.
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What happens when bloggers overreact and rely on bad sources

I like Barry Ritholz at the Big Picture blog. I do. I think he's a bright guy. But he's proven time and time again that he can be out of his league when it comes to anything remotely resembling mortgage servicing. Doubly so when he bases his gotcha! moments on a flawed major media piece written by reporters that can't understand the difference between "dumping properties onto market" and a foreclosure sale.
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Copper thieving

Jason Szep at Reuters tackles an issue that anyone in property preservation knows all too well -- copper thieves. In places like Detroit and Cleveland, it's often the case that the copper in the home ends up being worth more than the house itself. And with the market for nonferrous metals at an all-time high, the industry faces an interesting problem: board up a house, and its essentially open season to be gutted and have its metal parts shipped off to China.
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The new UBS logo

A little April fool's day humor (H/T, Calculated Risk): Of course, we think the bombshell was their disclosure of Alt-A write-offs, but it's still pretty funny nonetheless.
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Searching for the next Bear Stearns

The financial press hasn't yet let go of the Bear Stearns meme, and most of what we read in this area tends to make our eyes roll into the back of our heads -- but this piece over at Minyanville does a good job making a case for why the i-banks aren't out of the woods yet over this mortgage thing. Let's play name the bank: Without naming names quite yet, what would you think of a company that accomplished the following in 2007?
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RMBS warning labels, and your Friday funnies

Apparently, these days, anyone can think that they understand the complex world of structured finance. The latest? An academic and a consumer investment adviser, who are set to call for Federal authorities to assume responsibility for rating RMBS and related structured securities, according to a press statement released Friday.
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