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Author Archives: Phil Britt

Phil Britt started covering mortgages and other financial services matters for a suburban Chicago newspaper in the mid-1980s before joining Savings Institutions magazine in 1992. When the publication moved its offices to Washington, D.C. in 1993, he started his own editorial services firm and continued to cover mortgages, other financial services subjects, and technology for a variety of websites and publications.

Homework Pays Off

Editors Note: This article was originally featured in the August issue of DS News. Mortgage and real estate-related investment opportunities abound throughout various securities and properties, as long as investors take the steps necessary to understand the underlying market conditions—and ...

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Experts Expound on Mortgage Servicing Rights in the Secondary Market

Government agencies are seeing an increase in participation within the mortgage servicing space and are seeking to provide better insight into some of the new and growing players in the market, a panel of experts told the audience at a mortgage industry conference in Chicago this week. Dave Williams of Amerisave Mortgage Corp., David Allison with Dovenmuehle Mortgage, and representatives from Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae all shared their thoughts with conference-goers on servicing mortgages for secondary market investors.

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Mortgage Experts Advocate for Servicing Changes

Mortgage servicing took center stage at a mortgage banking conference in Chicago on Monday, with industry experts making a case for reform. Panelists at a session on the future of mortgage servicing assured attendees that in five years, the servicing business ""will look nothing"" like it does today. Executives from such organizations as Freddie Mac, Amherst Securities, and the University of North Carolina advocated for national servicing standards, greater transparency, and new compensation structures.

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CoreLogic’s Partner InfoNet Passes One Million Mark in Active Listings

Santa Ana, California-based CoreLogic has exceeded 1 million active real estate listings on its Partner InfoNet program, which started operation in June 2010. Partner InfoNet is a revenue sharing program in which multiple listing services (MLSs) license their listing data to CoreLogic for use in risk management products for mortgage lenders, servicers, and capital markets. The program represents more than 300,000 real estate professionals.

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More Than One-Fifth of Mortgages Underwater: Report

Nearly 10.9 million, or 22.5 percent, of all residential mortgages had negative equity at the end of the second quarter of the year, according to a report released Tuesday by the analytics firm CoreLogic. The figure is actually a slight improvement from the 22.7 percent of all mortgages with negative equity in the first quarter of 2011. CoreLogic says nearly three-quarters of homeowners in negative equity situations are also paying higher, above-market interest on their mortgages.

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Investment Bank Expects Moderate Government Refinancing Program

While the Obama administration is still working through the specifics with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on how to open up refinancing to more borrowers, Keefe, Bruyette and Woods - an investment bank specializing in financial services - notes the most likely course of action is a moderate expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) rather than a broad refinance program. Even a HARP expansion is likely to be modest at best, the research said.

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NextAce Launches Property Information Service

NextAce Corp., Orange, California, unveiled SearchQ, a solution that provides immediate retrieval of property ownership from the company's Web site. SearxhQ provides users with details on property ownership on the latest deed and all ownership changes for up to 10 years; outstanding debt, including mortgages, assignments, foreclosure activity, and voluntary and involuntary liens; taxes, including current year taxes and payment information in many counties; current vesting information and an abbreviated legal description for the property.

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Fannie Mae Opens Sacramento Mortgage Help Center

Fannie Mae last week opened a mortgage help center in Sacramento, California, to provide free education and counseling services to struggling local homeowners with Fannie Mae-owned mortgages. The facility is Fannie Mae's 10th mortgage help center across the country. The GSE developed the center in partnership with NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center Sacramento Region, which staffs the office, as well as with local community and elected officials and area mortgage servicers.

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Government Guarantees Called Into Question at Senate Hearing

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing Tuesday on housing finance reform, the first of three housing-related hearings on the agenda this week. The issue of government guarantees for home mortgages came under some fire. One witness with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. noted that without any change in policies and without any further increase in the GSEs' debt, the national debt will reach $30 trillion in 10 years.

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