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Mortgages in Foreclosure Hit New High in Q1: MBA

The percentage of home loans making their way through the foreclosure process jumped to a new record high during the first quarter of 2010, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday. Despite the industry's, and the government's, all-out attack on the nation's foreclosure problem, MBA's regular quarterly study showed that 4.63 percent of outstanding mortgages were in foreclosure at the end of March. Another 10.06 percent were past due.

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Mortgage Application Volume Slumps as Purchase Applications Plummet

Despite a surge in refinance applications, total mortgage loan application volume fell 1.5 percent for the week ending May 14, 2010, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday. MBA attributed the fall-off to a drastic plunge in purchase applications, which tumbled 27.1 percent from one week earlier, marking the lowest level observed in the survey since May of 1997. MBA's refinance index, on the other hand, jumped 14.5 percent.

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HUD Lobbies for More Federal Funding to Stabilize Housing Markets

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is asking Congress to release additional funds to help communities combat the ongoing effects of the housing crisis and home foreclosures. He says the Obama administration is committed to working with lawmakers to secure a third round of funding for HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The federal agency has disbursed $6 billion through NSP to help local governments and non-profit developers buy and rehabilitate or demolish vacant and foreclosed homes in their communities.

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Lenders Moving Faster to Auction Foreclosed Homes in Massachusetts

The time it's taking for a property to move from the first stage of the foreclosure process to auction has shrunk in Massachusetts, according to a new study released Tuesday by the Warren Group. The Boston-based research firm found that it is now taking an average of about 4.6 months for a property to hit the auction block in the Bay State, compared to eight months in the early part of 2008.

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Mortgage Defaults Drop in S&P/Experian Indices

Consumer default data released Tuesday by Standard & Poor's and Experian show a sharp drop in the number of overdue first and second mortgages. Based on Experian's consumer credit database of approximately $11 trillion in outstanding loans sourced from 11,500 lenders, the companies' April default index for first mortgages was down 31 percent from a year ago, while defaults on second mortgages fell 45 percent over the past 12 months.

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Commercial, Multifamily Originations Post Mixed Results in Q1

In the first quarter of 2010, commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations were 12 percent higher than the same period last year but 26 percent lower than the fourth quarter of 2009, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Tuesday. New origination volumes varied considerably by investor group. MBA found that loans through securities conduits were up 657 percent from a year ago, while originations for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which remained robust through the credit crisis, fell by almost half.

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Wells Fargo Reports 36,094 Permanent HAMP Modifications

As of April 30, Wells Fargo had completed 36,094 permanent modifications under the administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). According to Treasury, Wells Fargo ranks third for the number of permanent modifications completed to date, trailing behind Bank of America, with 56,398 permanent modifications, and JP Morgan Chase, with 39,507.

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Ocwen Converts 83% of HAMP Trials to Permanent Modifications

Subprime mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corporation has converted the highest percentage of trial loan modifications for distressed homeowners to permanent status under the administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). According to the Treasury's just-released HAMP report on servicer performance, 83 percent of the Florida-based company's customers who had trial modifications through the federal program have now been moved into permanent modifications.

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Moody’s Home Price Outlook: Distressed Sales Key to Speed of Recovery

The future of U.S. home prices is acutely tied to the speed and the manner in which distressed sales work through the system, Moody's Economy.com stressed in a report issued this week. The discount on properties sold through foreclosure is now close to 40 percent of a non-distressed existing home price. Price cuts in short sales were averaging around 12 percent at the end of last year, but Moody's says short sale volume is not sufficient enough to temper the impact of foreclosure sales and curb further price declines.

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