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Moody’s: Citi, GMAC, Ocwen Perform Well

Amid a challenging environment for servicers, CitiMortgage, GMAC, and Ocwen have outperformed major competitors with regards to loss mitigation and foreclosure timelines, according to a recent report from Moody's Investors Service. The company's Servicer Dashboard rates major servicers on their performance from June 2010 to June 2011. Moody's notes that Bank of America's and Chase's performance assessments were affected by large servicing acquisitions and foreclosure moratoria.

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Regulators Seize Four Community-Based Lending Institutions

This year's failed-bank tally has risen to 80 with the closings of four more lenders over the weekend. Piedmont Community Bank in Georgia was picked up by State Bank and Trust Company. Country Bank in Illinois has been taken over by Blackhawk Bank & Trust. In Cranford, New Jersey, First State Bank has now become part of New York's Northfield Bank. Blue Ridge Savings Bank in North Carolina was absorbed by the Bank of North Carolina.

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InHouse Names Jennifer Creech Chief Executive Officer

InHouse, Inc., a provider of appraisal management services, has announced the promotion of Jennifer Creech to CEO and president. Creech had been serving as the president of InHouse since 2010. In the CEO role, she replaces Tim Ngyuen, who is now focusing his efforts solely on business development for InHouse. Since joining the company in 2009, Creech has leveraged her 20 years of senior management experience in mortgage lending to help fuel the company's growth.

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Officials Mull Plan for Risk-Sharing Between GSEs and Private Investors

The administration is looking into ways to support greater private sector involvement in the secondary market for home mortgages. Officials are weighing a proposal that would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to sell off portions of their mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to private investors. These MBS carve-outs would not carry a federal guarantee but would pay a higher interest rate. A pilot program could be rolled out as early as next year to test private investors' willingness to share some of the risk carried by the GSEs.

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GMAC Extends Default-Deterring Incentives to VA Homeowners

GMAC Mortgage has teamed up with the Loan Value Group, LLC on a pilot program that provides financial incentives for borrowers with VA loans to remain current. GMAC is offering Loan Value Group's Responsible Homeowner (RH) Reward program to a group of Veterans Administration (VA) customers who are current on their mortgage payments but have seen a significant decline in the value of their homes. The program returns a portion of their lost equity in exchange for continued, timely mortgage payments.

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Barclays Expects ‘Triple-Dip’ With Another 7% Drop in Home Prices

The analysts at Barclays Capital say a ""triple-dip"" in home prices will likely materialize by early next year. The term ""triple-dip"" emerged in a Clear Capital report a couple of weeks ago, and Barclays says its analysis corroborates the idea. The research firm warns that home prices will likely slip another 6 to 7 percent over the coming winter months. That would put median prices at a new low for this cycle, in fact 3 percent below the double-dip measurement of last spring.

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Major Banks Accused of Defrauding Veterans, Taxpayers

While five major banks continue to deliberate with the state attorneys general for a settlement involving violations in mortgage documentation, the same five banks, plus several others, also face charges for committing fraud against veterans and taxpayers. Defendants accuse 13 banks of ""a brazen scheme to defraud both our nation's veterans and the United States Treasury of millions of dollars"" by overcharging borrowers in connection with home loans refinanced through a U.S. Veterans Affairs program.

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HUD Grants Williams Title 5-Year Contract

Williams Title Guaranty and Escrow Agency, Ltd., has entered a five-year contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Williams Title provides title insurance and escrow services on lender-owned REO properties, meeting the needs of lenders, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, and REO asset managers. As a designated HUD closing agent, Williams Title Guaranty will complete HUD closings for the entire state of Colorado.

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Las Vegas Issues Alert on Foreclosure Rental Scam

Local media in Las Vegas are reporting that unsuspecting renters are falling victim to an elaborate fraud scheme involving vacant foreclosures. Con artists are combing the Las Vegas Valley for homes that have been sitting empty for an extended period of time - such properties aren't hard to come by in the foreclosure-ridden area. They then advertise the home as ""for rent"" and bilk victims out of thousands of dollars before they realize the fraud has taken place.

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Sabal Financial Announces Purchase of $153M Loan Portfolio

Sabal Financial Group, L.P., the financial services management firm formerly known as Milestone Asset Resolution Company, said this week that it recently acquired a $153 million portfolio from a major Midwest retail bank. The portfolio includes more than 100 loans, both performing and nonperforming, and is primarily secured by retail, office, and industrial properties, and land. Sabal will provide loan servicing and asset management for the portfolio.

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