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LexisNexis Emerging Issues
In LexisNexis, subscribers can add sub-tabs to their main page for specific jurisdictions or areas of practice. One of the topical sub-tabs available is "real estate." Clicking on the sub-tab after it is added replaces the Lexis main page with topic-specific resources, including emerging issues sources. For real estate, there is a specific group of emerging issues sources for subprime lending, including an aggregation of articles from news sources and bill-tracking.
BNA Reports-Real Estate Law & Industry Report
Another useful current awareness tool was the BNA reports on real estate law. This collection of articles was the most frequently updated and the most comprehensive, including litigation news, industry updates, reports of investigations into deceptive lending practices, and state specific news.
The following sites offer relevant free content, usually updated as new stories become available.
Center for Responsible Lending—Mortgage News Blog
The Center for Responsible Lending posts summaries of and links to news articles about mortgages, foreclosure, services, loan modification, HAMP, Dodd-Frank, Qualified Residential Mortgages, and more. In addition to the news articles, CRL also has a link, on its "Tools" page, to Research and Analysis. On this page, CRL posts links to results of research conducted into the impact of lending practices and consumer protection laws. There is a lot of good policy analysis for attorneys to stay on top of how the current or proposed laws and regulatory schemes will affect clients.
Business Exchange aggregates articles from a variety of news sources. A researcher can filter content by entering, e.g., "mortgage crisis" or "foreclosure" in the search box (the link on this page goes to the search results for "mortgage crisis." The results include articles from sources like The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Business Week, USA Today, Reuters, and Forbes. From the main search results, content can be filtered further by popularity, news-only sources, or blogs. This is an interesting resource because underlying material varies from neutral, fact-based reporting from well-known news sources to informal commentary from individual bloggers.
Housingwire is magazine that also offers substantial content for free online. The articles cover a range of topics on the US housing industry. The articles can be filtered by more specific topics, for example, real estate or lending news only, as well as by popularity. In addition to the articles, the site also publishes a series of videos of news stories including interviews with industry executives, much like a regular news site. Another feature is the "Data Center" which has some interesting graphs showing mortgage rates and property value trends trends throughout the year, or for past years. Lastly, the site includes "commentary" articles by industry professionals that are candidly written and seem more reliable than content on most of the blogs I visited. A print version of the magazine is also available for $149 per year for print and digital access or $99 per year for either print or online only.
The following sources offer releant news and analysis, but are offered only through paid subscriptions.
Mortgage Lending: Mealey’s Litigation Report
12 issues per year; $930
Available in print, PDF or e-book, or on LexisNexis
Summarizes court decisions, pleadings, regulatory actions and legislative developments on topics which include Truth in Lending, Home Owner Equity Protection Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, predatory lending, mortgage disclosures, consumer protection, foreclosure, bankruptcy. My favorite feature is that the Mealey’s report in Lexis contains links to the court documents related to the article.
National Financing Law Digest
12 issues per year; $867 (+ 48.50 shipping if print version)
Available in print and PDF
Summarizes selected decision on topics that include bankruptcy, FACTA, collection, fraud, mortgages, consumer credit to name a few. The publication is designed for both attorneys in private practice as well as those in financial service firms.
National Consumer Law Reports—Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Edition
6 issues per year; $60
Subject matter includes practice implications of recent decisions and law changes, trends and litigation tactics. Unfortunately, I could only view a sample article from an issue online.