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Lenders Preferred Refinancing Over New Purchases Post-Crisis

A new study suggests that after the Fed began quantitative easing in 2008, many lenders began leaning more toward refinancing applicants than those seeking new purchase loans. This was likely due to the stronger payment history and less risk associated with these applicants. Weaker, less-capitalized banks were more likely to follow the trend.

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Victory and Vindication for Castle Law Group in Landmark Decision

The defendants, including Larry Castle and Caren Castle, in State of Colorado v. The Castle Law Group, LLC, et al.,recently gained a major victory in the five-year case when Denver District Judge Morris Hoffman ruled in favor of the defendants, blocking the attorney general’s original request of damages of up to $26 million.

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Conforming Loans Can’t Keep Up

Analyzing data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity tool, the Mortgage Bankers Association determined that its Mortgage Credit Availability Index increased 3.2 percent in March. However, conforming loans access decreased by 2.6 percent, as mid-priced homes have jumped in price.

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National Bankruptcies Nearly Doubled in March

Bankruptcy filings nationwide took a sharp uptick in March. The latest report on bankruptcy filings by Epiq Systems shows bankruptcies nearly doubled compared to February. Filings were also up in March for the first time since 2011. Yet, year-to-date, all numbers are flat.

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A Drop in Foreclosure Activity

Across the country, reports have come in showing decreases in foreclosure activity. In the New York City area, Property Shark reports foreclosures have dropped 15 percent year-over-year in Q1 2017. Most areas of the city note drops in foreclosure activity, except for Brooklyn. Brooklyn was the only borough of New York City to report an increase in foreclosures, increasing 24 percent over 2016.

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Fannie Mae Sees Decreases in Monthly Summary

Fannie Mae recently released its Monthly Summary for February 2017. Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio decreased for at a compound annualized rate of 16.9 percent for the month, while the GSEs Conventional Single Family Delinquency Rate stayed much the same month-over-month.

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Fannie Mae Clarifies Clear Boarding Policies

The GSE no longer allows plywood to be used on homes in preforeclosure, however, this rule does not apply to Fannie Mae’s REO properties. As of March 29, servicers have 90 days to re-glaze/repair or clear board all unsecured and previously plywood boarded windows. Additionally, Fannie Mae will allow servicers seven days to secure a property after it has been found vacant, by re-glazing/repairing or clear boarding.

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SPS Comes in No. 1 for RMBS

The latest Fitch Servicer Handbook ranks Select Portfolio Servicing No. 1 in the nation’s non-agency RMBS market, bumping Ocwen and Nationstar down to No. 2 and 3, respectively. Fitch called SPS a “notable anomaly” in the market.

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Fraud in Loan Apps Up in February

More lenders in February saw defects in mortgage applications compared to January, according to a new report by First American Financial Corp. The firm’s chief economist cited rising interest rates as the likely culprit. As rates rise, more borrowers are seeking ARMs, which are inherently riskier and, thus, ripe for more misrepresentation.

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Dealing with Title Defects in Foreclosure Proceedings

Defects in a chain of title can have devastating effects on the mortgage servicer’s ability to recover an asset associated with a nonperforming loan. The webinar discussed how to navigate regulation and correct mistakes, and what to look out for in judicial foreclosure states.

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