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Lenders Continue to Lower Credit Requirement Thresholds

A new report from Ellie Mae shows credit standards ended 2013 at their lowest level all year. The company found that by December, criteria for first-lien mortgages had relaxed considerably, with the average FICO score at 727, loan-to-value ratios averaging 82 percent, and debt-to-income ratios at a yearly high of 39 percent. The company also found that loans originated in December took an average of 43 days to close, down from 55 days a year earlier.

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Comparing Valuation Measures

Compliance Valuation Measures

Special Print Feature, originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of DS News Magazine. By Steve Albert, Ernie Durbin, and Tami Rund Without question, accurate valuation data is critical to your business, but how do you determine which method to use for ...

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Freddie Mac: Short Sales More Attainable Than Homeowners Think

When a homeowner is unable to make their mortgage payments or owes more on the home than it's worth, a short sale can be a viable option that avoids the negative implications of a foreclosure for both the homeowner and the mortgage-holder. However, common perceptions of short sales as difficult, lengthy, restricted to specific circumstances, and harmful to personal credit cause many to shy away from the option.

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Feature: New World Order

The veterans of this business can remember when REOs ran in the neighborhood of 150,000 a year, delinquency rates were just around 4 percent, and you only needed a credit score of 620 to qualify for a prime mortgage loan. But the housing finance industry, and default servicing especially, has changed. In the cover story of it's September issue, DS News looks at the many factors--from a slew of new regulatory mandates to an altered public perception of debt obligations--that have altered the business into something far from customary.

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Survey Uncovers Patterns and Trends Among Homebuyers

The National Association of Realtors recently released the results of a national survey conducted in July 2013 among homebuyers who had made their purchase within the previous year. The data collected brings fresh insights into all phases of the homebuying process and helps recognize emerging trends to help real estate professionals understand the needs and expectations of their clients. What did the study uncover?

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Commentary: Looking Forward

In a commentary shared with DSNews.com, Peter Muoio, chief economist for Auction.com Research, revealed the company's predictions for 2014. Muoio says the housing recovery will get its second wind next year, the Federal Reserve's tapering of stimulus measures will extend for a longer period that most analysts are expecting, REO-to-rental will cool off, and the Canadian housing bubble will come closer to bursting.

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Economic Growth in U.S. to Outpace Global Progress

As we head toward the close of 2013, many wonder what the new year will bring for economic growth, what plans the Federal Reserve has for its stimulus, and how employment and the housing market will take shape. IHS Global Insight recently released its 2014 outlook, addressing these and other factors affecting the U.S. and global economies in the coming year. IHS says global economic growth will increase from 2.5 percent this year to 3.3 percent next year, with the U.S. growing 2.6 percent, up from 1.7 percent.

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Ocwen to Pay $2B for Servicing Violations

Ocwen Loan Servicing must provide $2 billion in principal reductions to underwater borrowers and refund $125 million to nearly 185,000 borrowers who were foreclosed on, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) along with 49 state attorneys general announced Thursday. ""The CFPB and its partner states believe that Ocwen was engaged in significant and systemic misconduct that occurred at every stage of the mortgage servicing process,"" bureau officials said.

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LoanSifter Hosts QM-Focused Webinars

LoanSifter, a Wisconsin-based company specializing in technology for loan originators and secondary departments, is hosting two industry panels this week to address concerns and strategies revolving around the soon-to-be-implemented qualified mortgage (QM) rule.

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