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Criticism of Appraiser Code Mounts

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) new home valuation code of conduct was created to promote transparency and put distance between lenders and appraisers to encourage more accurate property appraisals, but some question whether it will be effective.

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Ind. Lawmakers Will Consider Foreclosure Options

Indiana lawmakers are considering a variety of options to help homeowners and lenders in the Hoosier state overcome the mortgage crisis, according to a report in The Indianapolis Star. According to the report, Indiana is one of nine states with a higher rate of loans in foreclosure than the national average of 3 percent, and lawmakers are looking for ways to stem that tide, including extending the foreclosure process, financial assistance, and a state-wide moratorium on foreclosures.

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FHFB Chair Rosenfeld Resigns

Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) Chairman Ronald Rosenfeld resigned from his post on December 31. The Federal Housing Finance Board was responsible for the supervision of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks until the enactment of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 merged it with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) mission team, to create the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in July, 2008.

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OTS Regulator Let IndyMac Falsify Financial Reports

According to a report released last week by the New York Times:http://www.nytimes.com, an independent investigator of the U.S. Treasury Department has uncovered evidence that officials from the nation’s banking supervisory body, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), helped the failing IndyMac Bancorp paper over its financial difficulties.

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HUD Terminates FHASecure

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a notice late last week, advising lenders of the termination of the Federal Housing Administration’s FHASecure program, under which FHA was able to insure refinance transactions for borrowers delinquent on their mortgages.

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FHA Audit Reveals Good and Bad

This year has proved to be one of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) best yet in terms of loan originations – during FY 2008, which officially ended for the agency on September 30, lenders originated a record $171.

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AP Study: Bailed-out Bank Execs Took in $1.6B

According to a recent study by the Associated Press:http://www.associatedpress.com, banks that are now receiving bailout money from taxpayers, awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year.

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Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate to Historic Low

The Federal Reserve yesterday slashed its benchmark federal funds rate – the overnight rate at which banks lend to each other – from 1 percent to a target range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent, the lowest rate on record.

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