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Lennar’s Rialto Capital Raises $300M for Distressed Investments

Lennar Corporation recently announced that its Rialto Capital subsidiary has completed the first closing of a real estate investment fund that will target REOs and other non-performing properties and mortgage assets. Rialto raised $300 million for the fund, of which Lennar itself committed $75 million. The fund will extend the Miami-based homebuilder's buying power for distressed real estate and mortgage debt for the next three years.

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MBA Releases Letter to FHA Criticizing Indemnification Proposal

The Mortgage Bankers Association sent a letter to the Federal Housing Administration this week, expressing criticism of a proposal that would increase indemnification requirements on lender-issued loans. The proposed regulation would allow FHA to require lenders to compensate the agency for losses incurred on certain loans. Traditionally the FHA can only request such recompense. MBA feels the federal agency would use the policy to find ""small, inconsequential reasons"" to require indemnification.

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Home Purchase Applications Rise for Third Consecutive Week

Industry data released Wednesday shows that new mortgage applications for the purchase of a home jumped 1.8 percent for the week ending December 3. This is the third weekly increase recorded by the closely watched home purchase index, which has reached its highest level since early May. All market indicators point to a continued rise in mortgage rates and that seems to have prompted some homebuyers to act now. Refinancing, on the other hand, is becoming less attractive.

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NewOak Capital Appoints General Counsel and Managing Director

The Manhattan-based asset management and capital markets firm NewOak Capital has announced the appointment of Rachel Gould as both general counsel and managing director, focusing on expansion of the company's solutions and advisory platform, which provides analytical and portfolio construction services to institutional investors and managers.

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Sirote & Permutt Hosts REO Legal Issues Seminar

Sirote & Permutt's mortgage banking group recently hosted its sixth annual REO Real Estate Legal Issues seminar for Alabama real estate agents who represent the firm's mortgage servicing clients. Topics included Alabama law as it relates to REO closings, title issues, manufactured housing, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and evictions.

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IndiSoft Names New Customer Support Manager

IndiSoft, a technology development firm that focuses on systems for the default servicing industry, recently hired Atul Shinde as customer support manager. He will provide technical and project support to IndiSoft's RxOffice clients. Shinde has a dual background in the development of technological domains as well as client communications and problem resolution.

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Industry Completes over 1.5M Loan Mods in First 10 Months of 2010

New data from HOPE NOW shows that the industry completed more than 1.5 million loan modifications for at-risk homeowners from January through October of this year. That translates to an average of 154,000 homeowners per month who have been able to remain in their homes with an affordable loan modification solution. The report makes it clear, though, that there's far more work to be done. HOPE NOW says there are currently 3.4 million homeowners 60 or more days behind on their mortgage payments.

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FDIC Launches Investigation of Officials of Failed Banks

In a move reminiscent of the last time the United States was in such dire financial straits, the FDIC announced recently that it has begun an investigation of executives and other employees of failed banks. In the 1980s and 1990s, the savings and loan (S&L) crisis prompted the government to investigate and prosecute hundreds of bank insiders, sending more than 1,000 to prison, and collecting $4.5 billion. This time around, the FDIC has opened more than 200 civil cases and is seeking to recover around $2 billion.

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Freddie Mac to Provide Pool-Level Delinquency Data on Securities

Freddie Mac announced Tuesday that beginning in January 2011, the company will begin disclosing pool-level delinquency data on a monthly basis for all single-family Freddie Mac Participation Certificate (PC) and Giant PC securities. Freddie Mac says providing this delinquency disclosure data at the pool level will make the company's delinquency disclosures consistent with an industry practice previously established by Ginnie Mae.

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Oregon to Launch Foreclosure Prevention Program on Friday

Since the development of the Hardest Hit Fund in February, the state of Oregon has received more than $200 million to help homeowners struggling with their mortgages and to develop foreclosure prevention measures. This Friday the state will open its first foreclosure prevention program. The application for the Mortgage Payment Assistance (MPA) program will be available on the recently launched OHSI Web site from December 10 to January 14, 2011.

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