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Author Archives: Heather Cernoch

Poll: 22% of Homeowners Have Difficulty Making Mortgage Payments

According to a new poll from the market research firm Harris Interactive, 22 percent of people with mortgages have difficulty making their monthly payments. The poll also reveals that 21 percent think they are underwater and owe more on the loan than their home is worth. Compared to the results of last year's poll, those struggling to pay their mortgage has declined by 7 percent, but the company says the improvement is deceptive since it likely reflects the fact that borrowers previously experiencing trouble have already lost their homes.

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BrokerPriceOpinion.com Launches Property Inspection Report

BrokerPriceOpinion.com, a provider of customized valuation solutions, has launched its new Professional Property Inspection report, which incorporates detailed home information from an automated valuation model (AVM). The report also includes verification of the physical condition of the property and full photo documentation, and meets the new federal interagency appraisal and valuation guidelines that went into effect April 1.

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Senators Introduce Legislation to End Taxpayer Support of GSEs

Sens. John McCain and Orrin Hatch have introduced legislation to permanently end government support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The GSE Bailout Elimination and Taxpayer Protection Act, which is the Senate companion version of House legislation introduced in mid-March, seeks to accelerate the timeline for putting Fannie and Freddie on a path toward privatization. It would put an end to the two companies' conservatorship in two years.

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M&I Extends Its Foreclosure Moratorium

Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (M&I) has extended its foreclosure moratorium for distressed homeowners. Begun in December 2008 as part of M&I's Homeowner Assistance Program, the moratorium applies to applicable loans in all M&I markets and covers all owner-occupied residential loans for customers who agree to work in good faith to reach a successful repayment agreement.

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California Realtors and Fannie Mae Launch Effort to Expedite Short Sales

The California Association of Realtors has partnered with Fannie Mae on an initiative designed to help Realtors resolve issues that arise after a short sale offer is made on a Fannie Mae-backed loan. The effort centers around technology from the GSE, the Fannie Mae Short Sale Assistance Desk, which helps brokers and agents shorten the waiting period for approval on Fannie Mae short sale transactions. It also assists real estate professionals with post-contract issues, the existence of a second lien, or problems involving mortgage insurance.

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Genworth Financial Saves $6.6B in U.S. Mortgages from Foreclosure

Genworth Financial, a mortgage insurer based in Richmond, Virginia, saved $6.6 billion in U.S. mortgages from foreclosure last year, according to the company's latest Foreclosure Prevention Scorecard. Compared to 2009, when the company saved $2.6 billion, that's an increase of more than 153 percent. Genworth says it provided nearly 40,000 workouts to distressed borrowers last year, saving each, on average, more than $195,500.

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Massachusetts’ Foreclosure Starts Down 67% from Last Year

Massachusetts' foreclosure petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process in the state, declined 67 percent in February when compared to a year earlier, according to the Warren Group, a Boston-based provider of real estate data. Completed foreclosures also fell sharply, dropping 44 percent on a year-over-year basis. The Warren Group called the numbers a ""remarkable turnaround,"" demonstrating a new ""go-slow attitude"" among lenders.

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Pro Teck Valuation Services Offers Customized Appraisal Reviews

Pro Teck Valuation Services announced the availability of customized appraisal reviews via AppraisalCheck, its suite of desk and field review products for the repurchase market. AppaisalCheck identifies appraisal fraud, errors, and misrepresentations. The company says it has seen a growing need for retro forensic reviews to determine whether there is any culpability on behalf of the originator.

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Arkansas Restricts Wall Street Home Resale Fees

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has signed House Bill 1388, making Arkansas the 22nd state to ban the use of Wall Street home resale fees, also known as private transfer fees. Private transfer fees require that homebuyers pay a percentage of the final sale price of a home to a private third party every time the property is sold, typically for 99 years. Issuers of these fees attempt to sell the right to collect them on Wall Street.

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MBA Taps Former Freddie Counsel as VP, Commercial Regulatory Policy

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced this week that Thomas T. Kim will serve as the association's new VP of commercial regulatory policy beginning April 14. He will manage activities relating to commercial regulatory issues, serve as the staff representative to the Commercial Risk Retention Task Force, and advance and promote commercial policy with a focus on federal financial regulatory reform and bank oversight. Prior to joining MBA, Kim was associate general counsel at Freddie Mac.

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