Tracking real estate fallout of Gulf spill

Mortgage tech firm seeks photos, comments from industry professionals

A mortgage technology company is seeking data from Gulf Coast real estate professionals as it develops a website tracking the BP oil spill’s impact on home values.

Oxford, Miss.-based FNC Inc. will launch a website this fall tracking sale prices and property values for homes up to 100 miles from the coast since an April 20 oil rig explosion set off a massive oil leak in the Gulf. A recent Inman News article covered the real estate impact of the spill; property values could drop at least 30 percent in some affected areas, according to one forecast.

Users of the Collateral Vision Gulf Coast Crisis website will eventually be able to plug in a ZIP code or county to find property values free of charge.

The company is inviting industry professionals of all kinds — community bankers, lenders, appraisers, real estate brokers, bank managers — to post photos, blog entries, and comments about the spill’s effect on home values and sales, the company’s announcement said.

"We hope the website will become a repository of detailed news about how lenders, loan servicers and insurers are responding to homeowners whose incomes and mortgages have been affected by the oil spill," said Carol Luitjens, FNC’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.

Also on the site, "FNC experts will discuss how appraisers might evaluate the impact of the oil spill fairly and accurately, how the spill may affect homeowners trying to refinance, and how an enormous number of insurance claims may affect the mortgage and lending industries," the company said.

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Those who wish to contribute their experiences can e-mail the company: ledwards@fncinc.com.

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