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With Millions of Foreclosures on Horizon, Should States Mandate Mods?

According to the Center for Responsible Lending, since the housing crisis took hold, 2.5 million homeowners have already lost their homes and another 5.7 million are at risk of foreclosure. It's projected that between 10 and 13 million foreclosures will have occurred by the time this crisis abates. The Center argues that the power to stop unnecessary foreclosures and stabilize local housing markets lies with state legislatures. The group says lawmakers should impose mandatory loss mitigation standards for all servicers prior to foreclosure.

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Stewart Lender Services Opens Center in Coppell, Texas

Stewart Lender Services (SLS), a subsidiary of Stewart Title Company, opened a new National Processing Center in Coppell, Texas. Coppell is a city within the Dallas area. The center, which is equipped to staff around 110 people, will offer centralized mortgage loan origination and loss mitigation services, including short sales, for its customers.

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D.C. Mandates Public Filing of Lien Holders for Legal Foreclosures

Lenders cannot proceed with foreclosure sales in the District of Columbia unless the security, or ownership, interest of the lien holder has been properly recorded in public filings, according to Washington, D.C.'s attorney general. Under District law, each deed or other document transferring a mortgage interest must be filed with the Recorder of Deeds within 30 days of execution, and Attorney General Peter Nickles stressed that this requirement is not satisfied by private tracking through the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems(MERS).

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Long-Term Mortgage Interest Rates Edge Higher

Mortgage rates are still incredibly low by historical standards. They've been fluctuating around record lows not seen in more than a half-century for a good many months now. This week was one where that movement was upward, according to industry data released Thursday. A nationwide survey conducted by Freddie Mac found that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.23 percent, while 15-year rates edged up to 3.66 percent. Bankrate reports that the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate reversed last week's decline, returning to 5.10 percent.

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Wells Fargo Owns Up to Finding Errors in 55,000 Foreclosure Affidavits

For weeks, Wells Fargo has insisted that it's not a part of the robo-signing debacle, but that changed with an announcement late Wednesday that it will submit new affidavits for approximately 55,000 pending foreclosures in 23 judicial states. Wells Fargo says it has identified instances where employees did not adhere to legal procedures in conducting final reviews and did not execute notarizations properly. The bank reaffirmed that it does not plan to institute a moratorium on foreclosure sales.

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Foreclosure Activity Up in 65% of U.S. Metros in Q3: RealtyTrac

Data released by RealtyTrac Thursday shows that foreclosure activity rose in 65 percent of the nation's major metropolitan areas during the third quarter. Cities in California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona once again claimed the nation's highest foreclosure rates, accounting for 19 of the 20 metros at the top of RealtyTrac's list. The only exception was Boise City-Nampa, Idaho. However, the largest increases in foreclosure filings were reported from Seattle, Chicago, and Houston.

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Has HAMP Struck Out Looking?

Perhaps it was eager anticipation of the World Series kickoff, but Sen. Ted Kaufman's baseball analogy at a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday clearly put into perspective a key defect of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) - a defect that watchdog groups and market observers have been lamenting for months now. And that is, Treasury's back-peddling of how many homeowners the program will actually help. ""What matters is not how often you swing the bat, but how often you reach the bases,"" Kaufman said.

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MBA Forecasts 2011 Origination Volume to Be Lowest Since 1996

Home loan production is expected to come in below $1 trillion for the 2011 calendar year, according to figures released this week by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). If the trade group's projections pan out, it will be the industry's lowest level of home lending volume in 14 years. MBA's economists say next year's drop will be driven by a decline in refinance originations as mortgage rates head higher, but the industry will see an increase in purchase originations.

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Blueberry Systems Releases New Loan Document Imaging System

Blueberry Systems, LLC has announced the release of its Manifest Imaging System, which allows loan documents to be captured and indexed from any image format. Optical character recognition technology enables the system to capture text from such files as standard PDFs as well as document scanning devices, and provide flexibility for processing the diverse types of loan documents lenders must work with.

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Mortgage Activity Rebounds as Rates Drop Again

Industry data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Wednesday shows that consumer demand for home loans intensified last week as mortgage interest rates dropped to their second-lowest level on record. MBA says its measurement of total mortgage loan application volume rose 3.2 percent for the week ending October 22, after dipping more than 10 percent the week before.

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