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Take It on the Run: Banks Create Website to Unload REO Properties

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The pace of sales of real estate-owned properties could hardly be called speedy, but the North Carolina Bankers Association is hoping to help banks hurry up.

The trade group has created a website where banks — and only banks — can market REO homes directly to consumers, bypassing traditional real estate agents.

The site, REOdeedwagon.com, is a play on the name of the rock group REO Speedwagon, known for songs including “Keep on Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” But the reference to the band’s name is mostly wishful thinking on the part of bankers trying to dispose of foreclosed homes.

Banks who choose to list their properties on the new database may be able to find new potential buyers, says Brandon Wright, a spokesman for the North Carolina Bankers Association.

Currently there is no national database of bank-owned homes, which can leads to confusion for potential home buyers, who may be “put out” by having to search thousands of REO property listings online, he says. Now, REOdeedwagon.com allows potential homebuyers to view REOs in any state.

“Our goal is to get the properties off the books of the banks and into the hands of consumers,” Wright says.

Banks sign up through the site and can upload detailed descriptions and photos of REOs with contact information listing the real estate agent or bank employee. They also can post anonymously.

REO homes typically get listed on individual bank websites and on local multiple listing services.

It may take time for the site to gain traction. Since going live in early April, fewer than 250 homes have been listed.

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10 Key Insights About the Unbanked
They are spending a lot, just not with you.

Revenue is growing significantly and steadily for products targeting people outside the financial mainstream.

Though they use banks very little or not at all, these consumers do use financial products and services. It is a market segment that generated an estimated $107 billion in fee and interest revenue during 2014, up 4.6% from the prior year, according to estimates from the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

Two recent studies offered some key insights about these so-called "underbanked" and "unbanked" consumers. Here is a quick overview, with charts to illustrate.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

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