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Foreclosure Prevention Efforts Aren’t Keeping Pace with Defaults: LPS

Despite servicers' efforts to modify unprecedented volumes of troubled mortgages and a large-scale government-led program put in place to stem the nation's viral foreclosure epidemic, they haven't been enough to keep up with the rapid pace of loan deterioration, according to new data from Lender Processing Services (LPS). An LPS market report released Monday shows that the total number of delinquent loans as of the end of February was 21 percent higher than it was a year earlier, and the foreclosure rate represents a 51 percent year-over-year increase.

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Oklahoma HFA to Make $75 Million Available for First-Time Buyers

Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OFHA) announced Monday that it will release $75 million in mortgage revenue bonds on April 27 through its OHFA Advantage program, marking one of the agency's largest single distributions in recent years. This $75 million is just part of the $300 million OHFA anticipates releasing this year through the utilization of the New Issue Bond Program.

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BofA Completes More Than 12,000 Permanent HAMP Mods in a Month

According to Bank of America's monthly Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) progress report to the Department of Treasury, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank has completed nearly 33,000 permanent HAMP modifications, including more than 12,000 since the previous monthly report. As of April 8, 2010, 32,900 Bank of America customers had been placed into completed mortgage modifications with affordable payments under HAMP, up from 20,666 reported a month earlier. This marked the bank's most productive month to date.

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South Carolina Sees First Bank Failure Since 1999

Beach First National Bank in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was shut down this weekend by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. It's the 42nd FDIC-insured institution to fail this year, and the first in South Carolina since March 1999. The FDIC brokered a deal with Bank of North Carolina out of Thomasville, North Carolina to take over the shuttered institution's operations.

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Financial Crisis Probe Puts Former Fannie Execs in the Spotlight

There's plenty of finger-pointing and opinions to go around in the heated debate over what caused the nation's financial meltdown of 2007. To get to the true triggers, President Obama formed the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. This week, two former top execs from Fannie Mae found themselves in the hot seat. They said it was Wall Street firms muscling in on the mortgage-backed securities market, unrealistic housing goals, and a public-private business model that led the GSEs to take greater risks in the years before the mortgage crisis.

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Agency Launches Online HAFA Resource Center

The administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program was officially implemented on Monday, but many real estate professionals still have questions about the logistics of this new initiative. In an effort to answer these questions and provide Realtors with the latest HAFA information, Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency headquartered in Riverside, California, has launched an online HAFA resource center.

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Retreat Capital Enhances its Predictive Modeling Services

Retreat Capital Management Group, a Lake Forest, California-based provider of loss mitigation and portfolio management products for the mortgage industry, announced Thursday that it has deployed AnswerMine Group's analytic software to power its predictive modeling services for mortgage lenders and servicers.

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Wells Fargo Top Commercial/Multifamily Originator of 2009

Wells Fargo Bank was the top commercial and multifamily mortgage originator last year, according to a set of listings released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) this week. Other leaders included PNC Real Estate, Deutsche Bank, CB Richard Ellis, and Holliday Fenoglio Fowler.

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FHA Now Accepts Electronic Signatures on Third Party Documents

In a move that will make the application process for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance easier for borrowers and faster for lenders, FHA announced Thursday that it will begin accepting electronic signatures on third party documents originated and signed outside a lender's control.

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Survey: 24% of Borrowers Believe They Are Underwater

A new poll by market research firm Harris Interactive found that 24 percent of people with mortgages believe they owe more on the loan than their homes are worth. The U.S. Treasury recently announced changes to its foreclosure prevention program to include mortgage relief for underwater borrowers, but some worry the help may be too little too late since it will likely be fall before this assistance is available. Harris says nearly half of the borrowers who believe they are underwater are already having difficulty making their payments.

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