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R.I.-based Title Agency Develops Valuation Product

February 9, 2010

One striking indicator of the mortgage industry’s change of focus may be that the accurate valuation of distressed properties will be a critical path to success for many in 2010 and beyond. However, the very nature of the distressed assets market has, to date, made the precise valuation of these properties a very stiff challenge, to the chagrin of many servicers, lenders and investors.

These market conditions have given rise to the development of East Providence, R.I.-based Equity National’s PACEplus, a predictive valuation tool intended to combine data and human analysis to ensure a more accurate measurement of a distressed property’s true market value. Specifically, PACEplus goes beyond many of the traditional tools currently used by combining quantitative data collection and analysis with rigorous human evaluation.

PACEplus has been designed to surpass the subjective approach applied to many valuations by analyzing a broad and extensive swath of public and private housing, economic, and market data. The human element is still present, however, as this objective information then undergoes rigorous analysis, combining expert human review and field data collection, a questionnaire and photos. The result is a conclusion of value that is more accurate, consistent, and comprehensive than any other technique used in the market today. Equity National offers PACEplus at an attractive price that is moderately less than the time-honored BPO. “The annual costs savings for large investors with thousands of REO assets could easily reach six-figures,” says company spokeswoman. PACEplus is developed in conjunction with RESIDx technology.

“Although the standard for distressed real estate valuation has been the BPO”, Jim Dammerich, who heads the collateral valuation division of Equity National, stresses that the traditional BPO tends to be more subjective. “PACEplus takes advantage of a significantly deeper pool of public and private data in the valuation conclusion.” He adds, “In addition, we overcome the habitual shortcomings of an automated valuation model (AVM) by using a combination of expert analysis and field inspection including a questionnaire about the neighborhood of the asset—the result is a report that is thorough and inclusive.”

“Now more than ever, servicers, lenders and investors are demanding pinpoint accuracy in the valuation of distressed assets,” says Tom Frunzi, executive vice president of sales. He adds “There is little margin for error or inaccuracy in this market, the cumulative risk is too great. That is why we are confident PACEplus is not just another BPO or AVM, but rather, the evolution of the BPO — the next generation, in fact.”

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