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CitiMortgage to Hold Call-a-Thon to Assist Distressed Homeowners

CitiMortgage will host a mortgage assistance call-a-thon on Wednesday for customers who have concerns about paying their mortgages. The event begins at 7 a.m. on December 15, and continues until 1 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, December 16, EST. CitiMortgage borrowers can call the company's foreclosure prevention centers for information and advice during these expanded customer service hours. Foreclosure prevention experts will staff the event, but senior managers and supervisors will be on hand to provide additional support.

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HAMP Will Fall Short of Goal with Only 700K Helped: Report

The Obama administration's signature foreclosure prevention program will help only 700,000 Americans save their homes, according to a scathing report released Tuesday by the Congressional Oversight Panel. The group's assessment falls far short of the 3 to 4 million homeowners that the president pledged would receive more sustainable mortgage loans when the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was launched in March of last year, and is well below the 8 to 13 million foreclosures expected by 2012.

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Report: Mortgage Litigation Up 41%

Legal actions tied to mortgage lending jumped by 41 percent during the third quarter of the year, according to industry data released this week. Activity on more than 100 civil and criminal mortgage-related cases was tracked from July 1 through September 30 in the report prepared by the mortgage banking litigation firm Patton Boggs. Suits involving investor actions outnumbered all other types. Coming in next were actions related to foreclosures, an area that has drawn intense scrutiny with recent reports of widespread robo-signing.

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Household Wealth Increases Despite Heavy Real Estate Losses

The average American's financial situation improved during the third quarter, according to data released by the Federal Reserve. The news is seen as a positive sign for the nation's mortgage markets, which have been stressed by an elevated number of borrowers struggling to fulfill their mortgage obligations because of deteriorating personal finances. The Fed says household wealth grew by 2.2 percent, or $1.2 trillion, during the third quarter as stock market gains offset the $700 billion that was lost on real estate assets.

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GMAC May Resume Foreclosures in Maine, Judge Says

A judge last week declined to issue a temporary restraining order against GMAC Mortgage's foreclosure and eviction procedures in Maine. This decision frees the mortgage servicer to proceed with foreclosure sales and evictions it had temporarily halted as part of an agreement with Maine Attorney General Janet Mills in November.

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Report: Home Prices in Baltimore-Washington Area Stabilize

According to the latest market data on the Baltimore-Washington metro housing market, RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) reports that pricing patterns are stabilizing while sales activity continues to slump. RBI's data reveals that the median home price in the Baltimore-Washington metro area has remained constant at $265,000, unchanged from October 2010 and 4.7 percent higher than $253,000 in November 2009.

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Starwood Property Trust Raises $653M to Buy Commercial Mortgages

Commercial real estate financier Starwood Property Trust, Inc. sourced $653 million last week that the company says will be used to acquire commercial mortgage debt and other target assets. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based REIT closed a $150 million warehouse financing facility with Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company, a $125.2 million asset-based credit agreement with Bank of America, and sold 20 million shares of its common stock to raise an additional $378 million.

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Increase in Foreclosures Leaves Fewer Borrowers Underwater: CoreLogic

The research firm CoreLogic says the share of mortgage borrowers who owed more on the loan than their home was worth shrank during the third quarter. But analysts say the news is hardly encouraging since the decline is being attributed to a rise in foreclosures rather than a rise in home prices. CoreLogic reports 10.8 million, or 22.5 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages were in negative equity at the end of Q3, down from 11.0 million, or 23 percent, three months earlier.

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Fannie Mae Study Finds Americans Still Aspire to Homeownership

According to a study released by Fannie Mae, most Americans strongly desire to own a home, but a number of factors, including financial caution and shrinking households, continue to contribute to a willingness to rent. According to the study findings, 51 percent of current owners and renters say the housing crisis has not affected their overall willingness to buy a home over the long term. However, one-third say they are more likely to rent their next home than buy.

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Interthinx Awarded General Services Administration Certification

Interthinx was awarded a Federal Supply Schedule contract by the General Services Administration (GSA) to sell its products and services directly to federal government organizations. The contract streamlines the government procurement process and allows government customers to buy offerings at pre-negotiated rates. Interthinx will offer government customers access to mortgage risk mitigation tools.

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