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Author Archives: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

Centier Bank Connects Customers and Employees to MortgageKeeper

Centier Bank is working with MortgageKeeper Referral Services to connect the bank's customers and employees to vetted, local community resources for services like job training or utility payment assistance. MortgageKeeper says borrowers with access to these resources have additional opportunities to cure mortgage defaults.

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FHA Makes Concessions for Those Impacted by Shutdown

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) called on all approved mortgagees and lenders to be sensitive to the financial hardships some borrowers are facing as a result of the federal government shutdown, including those subject to furlough, layoff, or a reduction in income. The agency is instructing its industry partners to extend informal forbearance plans and exhaust all available loss mitigation options.

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Lawmakers’ Lack of Governance Has Minimal Impact on Confidence

Are Americans so accustomed to the ineffectiveness and triviality of Congress that the threat of a third week with essentially no governing body barely registers a blip on consumers' confidence scale? The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment was better than many analysts were expecting given the situation in Washington, dropping from 77.5 at the end of September to 75.2 at mid-October.

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Security Bank of California Appoints Chief Compliance Officer

Security California Bancorp, the holding company for Security Bank of California headquartered in Riverside, announced the appointment of Dolly L. Nugent as SVP and chief compliance officer. She is also a member of the bank's strategy and planning committee and oversees its Bank Secrecy Act Program.

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SunTrust Settles Legacy Mortgage Issues with Feds and GSEs

SunTrust Banks, Inc., is ponying up millions to resolve mortgage-related legal matters, including claims pertaining to the National Mortgage Settlement, and to settle mortgage repurchase demands from Fannie and Freddie. SunTrust says its third-quarter numbers will be negatively impacted by these resolution actions, resulting in an after-tax earnings reduction of $179 million.

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Foreclosures Lowest Since Q2 2007 as Starts Plummet to 7-Year Low

There were a total of 376,931 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the third quarter of 2013, RealtyTrac reported Thursday. The Q3 figure represents a 7 percent decline from the previous quarter and a 29 percent decline from the third quarter of 2012. By RealtyTrac's calculations, one in every 348 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing last quarter, which puts Q3 foreclosure activity at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2007.

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Shadow Inventory Falls to Lowest Level Since August 2008

Overall residential shadow inventory, as of July 2013, was 1.9 million homes, according to CoreLogic. That's the lowest shadow inventory tally reported since August 2008. The industry's current shadow inventory carries a value of $293 billion, down from $380 billion in July 2012. It represents 3.7 months' of supply and accounts for 85 percent of the 2.2 million properties that were seriously delinquent, in foreclosure, or bank-owned at July month-end.

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Janet Yellen Gets Nod from President for Fed Chair

President Obama is set to formally nominate Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Wednesday afternoon from the East Room of the White House. Multiple media outlets confirm White House officials revealed news of the pending nomination announcement Tuesday night. Yellen, 67, has served as the Fed's vice chair since 2010. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first woman to ever hold the position of the United States' top central banker.

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Fitch: Government Shutdown Could Squeeze Title Insurers’ Margins

According to Fitch Ratings, title insurance companies may be among the first in the housing sector to feel the effects of a Congress that the Brookings Institution describes as ""failing the American people."" Title insurers are sensitive to macroeconomic factors such as employment levels, consumer sentiment, and interest rates, and Fitch says the longer the government shutdown lasts, the bigger the potential profitability impact to title insurers.

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