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Washington Mutual Reaches $208.5 Million Settlement

Washington Mutual Inc.'s former executives, underwriters, and auditor reached a $208.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit by investors. The Seattle-based institution was the largest U.S. bank to fail, and this settlement is one of the largest resulting from the financial crisis. The class-action suit combined more than 20 cases in which investors claimed the bank misrepresented its financial condition when its loans began to fail after careless underwriting and inflated appraisals.

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eMortgage Logic Announces New Mobile Application

eMortgage Logic (EML), a Texas-based property valuations provider, recently introduced beta testing of its new mobile application. The application is offered to its nationwide broker network on a limited basis for the first 30 days, and full implementation is expected in August 2011. The EML app allows agents to accept orders, review open and pending orders, and map subject properties in the field via smart phones and tablets.

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Green River Capital Names New Chief Operating Officer

Green River Capital, an REO asset management and loss mitigation provider headquartered in West Valley, Utah, announced recently that Lorenz Schwarz has joined the company as chief operating officer. Schwarz will also supervise the operations of the company's sister firms Green River Financial, a short sale company, and Infinity Valuation Services, a BPO provider.

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Wells Fargo to Host Free Workshop for Washington Customers

More than 5,000 Washington state homeowners have been invited by Wells Fargo to participate in a free workshop this Thursday and Friday in Bellevue. Designed for borrowers facing financial hardships, the two-day workshop targets Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage, and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers. The Washington event is Wells Fargo's 16th home preservation workshop in 2011.

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Private Mortgage Insurers See More Defaults Than Loan Cures

Private mortgage insurers had more new notices of default to contend with during the month of May than they had loan cures. It was the first time in four months that defaults outnumbered cures. Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MICA) says its five members reported 44,853 defaults and 36,159 cures in May. Private mortgage insurers help loan originators and investors make mortgage funds available to homebuyers who have less than 20 percent for a down payment.

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Mortgage Fraud Remains a Primary Focus for Federal Task Force

Law enforcement officials say fraudsters and con artists see opportunity in turmoil, and right now, arguably the most tumultuous economic sector is housing. In its first year, the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force more than doubled the number of defendants charged with mortgage fraud. Mortgage fraud punishments followed the same trend, with nearly twice as many prison sentences of more than two years. But task force members say it's not enough, especially when the economy hasn't fully recovered.

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Shadow Inventory and REOs Loom Over National Recovery

Conditions across multiple financial sectors suggest economic stabilization and growth. It's the housing market that's holding back economic recovery, according to the credit bureau Equifax. The company's latest analysis of national credit trends points to shadow inventory and REOs as major mortgage market depressors. Growth in these areas has led to bigger write-offs. Equifax says write-off dollars for home finance in 2010 more than doubled that of 2006 and 2007 combined.

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Hollerbach & Associates Endorsed as Partner for Texas Bankers

San Antonio, Texas-based Hollerbach & Associates, an independent real estate services and title research firm, will continue on in its status as endorsed partner of TBA Services Company, Inc. (TBASCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Texas Bankers Association. This will be the firm's seventh consecutive year with the designation. Hollerbach & Associates is the only abstracting and title research firm in Texas to be considered an endorsed partner of TBASCO.

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Prospect Mortgage Offers Renovation Loans for Fannie Mae REOs

Prospect Mortgage, a California-based lender authorized to provide HomePath financing for Fannie Mae, now offers the HomePath Renovation Mortgage. HomePath is Fannie Mae's vehicle for the marketing and disposition of REO properties the GSE has acquired through foreclosure. The HomePath Renovation financing tool allows homebuyers to purchase a Fannie Mae HomePath property and include up to $35,000 for non-structural repairs and restoration as part of the loan.

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Default Risk in Reverse Mortgage Sector Prompts Lender Exodus

Reverse mortgage businesses accounted for a bigger share of industry casualties during the first half of 2011. Data released Tuesday shows that three lenders, which together made up 46 percent of the market for FHA's reverse mortgage program, called it quits earlier this year. The study noted that one factor impacting the dwindling sector is the possibility that borrowers will miss insurance or tax payments, which can trigger default on federally insured loans.

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