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Fed: Lenders Shun Unprofitable Mods

A new report from the Boston branch of the U.S. central bank warns that servicers have been reluctant to renegotiate mortgages since the foreclosure crisis started in 2007. No matter whether the workout takes the form of a payment lowering modification, capitalizing repayment plan, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, the Federal Reserve economists who spearheaded the research concluded that quite often, lenders expect to recover more from foreclosure than from a modified loan.

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Baltimore vs. Wells Fargo Moves Forward

The city of Baltimore launched a relentless campaign back in January of last year against one of the nation’s largest banks, Wells Fargo. Baltimore is suing Wells Fargo under the Fair Housing Act for reverse redlining, meaning the bank allegedly targeted black neighborhoods in Baltimore for predatory residential mortgage loans.

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Pennsylvania Laws Target Mortgage Fraud

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell signed a pair of bills last week aimed at combating mortgage fraud in the state. According to a statement from the governor’s office, the new laws were written to strengthen communication between homeowners and their lenders and encourage employees at mortgage companies to report illegal activity.

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Supreme Court Allows States to Pursue Federally-Regulated Banks

In a ruling last week, the U.S. Supreme Court gave state prosecutors the power to investigate and sue national banks for violating fair-lending laws – a blow to federal regulators who say states’ attorneys general don’t have the authority to go after the institutions they oversee.

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Regulators Close Seven Community Banks

Seven regional banks were shut down on Thursday – one in Texas and six in Illinois – bringing the number of failed banks in 2009 to 52. Barely half-way through the year, and that number is already more than double the 25 institutional failures in 2008.

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Freddie Receives Additional Funding

The McLean, Virginia-based mortgage giant Freddie Mac was given another $6.1 billion by the Treasury Department last week to offset the GSE’s first quarter deficit, according to a recent securities filing by the company.

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Rubin Lublin Hires New Title Attorney

The Atlanta-based real estate default law firm of Rubin Lublin, LLC has announced the hiring of Erica Malcom. Malcom will join the firm as an associate attorney working within the title department. Managing Partner Glen Rubin, commented, Erica makes a strong addition to Rubin Lublin.

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Chase Releases Mortgage Mod Numbers

Chase Bank announced this week that it has approved 138,000 trial mortgage modifications for struggling homeowners since it began processing loan workouts through President Obama’s Making Home Affordable program on April 6.

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Long-Term Rates Continue to Drop

Mortgage interest rates slipped lower again this week, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) released Thursday by Freddie Mac. Frank Nothaft, the GSE’s VP and chief economist, said that along with the recent moderation in home price declines, lower rates are providing a big boost to the nation’s ailing housing market.

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