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Fannie’s Streamlined Mod Option Helps 11K Borrowers Since July

More than 11,000 borrowers are currently in the midst of trial mortgage loan modifications through Fannie Mae's Streamlined Modification program, which officially rolled out at the start of July, and an additional 30,000 borrowers pre-qualified for the program, according to a blog post last week by Bill Cleary, VP of credit portfolio strategies. The new program allows any homeowner 90 or more days delinquent on their first-lien mortgage to receive a trial loan modification if the loan-to-value ratio is 80 percent or higher.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Fall to 7 1/2-Year Low

First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending September 7 plunged 31,000 to 292,000, the lowest level since March 2006, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected the number of claims to edge up to 330,000 from the 323,000 originally reported for the week ending August 31. The number of filings for that week was unchanged.

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Refinances Decline, HARP Refis Still Higher Than Last Year in Q2

As mortgage rates climb, refinances are on the decline. However, refinances through the government's Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) remain elevated compared to last year's volumes, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) Refinance Report for the second quarter of 2013. HARP refinances totaled about 280,000 for the quarter, down slightly from about 290,000 in the first quarter of this year, FHFA reported.

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Unemployment Rate Dips to 7.3% in August

The nation's economy added 169,000 jobs in August as the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent, the lowest level since December 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Economists had forecast payrolls would grow by 180,000 and the unemployment rate would remain at July's 7.4 percent. Payroll growth for July, originally reported at 162,000 was revised down 58,000 to 104,000. June payroll growth was also revised downward from 188,000 to 172,000.

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