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Fannie Mae Reports on Activities in 2009, Changes Outlook for 2010

In two separate reports released this week, Fannie Mae took a look at the past and made predictions for the future. On Thursday, the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) released ""Helping Housing Recover: A Report on Fannie Mae's Mission Performance,"" describing the company's efforts to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the nation's housing finance system. On Wednesay, the GSE released its March 2010 Economic Outlook, cutting its mortgage origination predictions for this year.

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Garrett Reintroduces Covered Bond Bill to Spur Mortgage Financing

With financing for both residential and commercial real estate mortgages still tight, and the securitization market all but stagnant by historical standards, policymakers have been pushing lenders to get the wheels of finance churning again. It's a fine line to walk with new regulatory compliance issues and constrained capital, but Rep. Scott Garrett thinks he has the answer - covered bonds. They represent a $3 trillion market and are a major source of mortgage liquidity among European nations.

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Fannie Mae Introduces Alternative HAMP Modification

Servicers are working faster and more diligently to convert trial modifications to permanent status under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). But the bitter truth is that some homeowners won't qualify for long-term relief even after making their trial payments. To offer these homeowners another option, Fannie Mae is instituting the ""Alternative Modification"" (Alt Mod) and requiring all its servicers to evaluate a borrower for the new solution before proceeding with foreclosure.

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CBO Expects Treasury to Use Just $20B of TARP to Mitigate Foreclosures

The Treasury has committed $50 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) to pay servicers for helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. New estimates released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that the administration is expected to use no more than $20 billion for servicer incentives when all is said and done - indicating that HAMP will help far fewer distressed homeowners than originally promised.

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Equator Launches HAFA Software Solution

With the effective date of the administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) program just around the corner, lenders and servicers are preparing for an influx of short sale and deed-in-lieu requests. In an effort to provide industry professionals with the technology they will need to service the hundreds of thousands of loans estimated to be eligible for HAFA, Equator Financial Solutions, a Los Angeles-based software provider of default servicing solutions, is launching a HAFA software solution.

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Treasury Report Shows Lending by TARP Recipients Remains Constricted

New loans made by the nine U.S. banks with the largest unsettled government bailouts declined 35 percent from December to January, according to federal data released this week. The Treasury's monthly lending survey of the top Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) recipients with funds outstanding shows that the nine banks in the upper echelon originated approximately $36 billion in new loans during the first month of this year - the smallest total since last October.

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NAR Supports Use of BPOs in HAFA Program

The allowance of broker price opinions in the administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program has created a major controversy. As DSNews.com previously reported, four appraisal organizations recently wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, voicing concerns over the use of BPOs for short sales under HAFA. In response to this opposition, Vicki Cox Golder, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), wrote her own letter, supporting HAFA and its allowance of BPOs.

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Wells Fargo Signs on to HAMP’s Second Lien Program

Wells Fargo said Wednesday that it has agreed to participate in the administration's Second Lien Modification Program (2MP). Wells is only the second major servicer to sign on to the junior lien component since it was introduced nearly a year ago. Under 2MP, when a borrower's first lien is modified under HAMP and the second lien servicer is a 2MP participant, that servicer must offer either to modify the second lien or to accept a lump sum payment from Treasury in exchange for fully extinguishing the second lien.

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HOPE NOW’s Non-HAMP Loan Mods Lead the Way

HOPE NOW says its members completed 99,499 proprietary loan modifications in January, almost double that of the 50,364 permanent mods finalized under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) industry-wide during the same month. Although HOPE NOW is seeing substantial success with non-HAMP modifications, the organization is also taking a lead in helping servicers collect borrowers' documents at its localized outreach events, in order to speed the process of converting trial HAMP mods to permanent status.

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Loan Resolution Corp. Adding 100 Employees to Meet HAFA Demand

Loan Resolution Corporation announced Tuesday that the company is adding 100 positions this month to meet the marketplace's growing demand for short sales - demand that is expected to intensify even further when the government's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program takes effect in April and short sales become a mandate in servicers' waterfall of loss mitigation options.

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