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D.C. Mayor Signs Emergency Act to Slow Foreclosures

In another attempt to save struggling homeowners from avoidable evictions, Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has signed an emergency act that amends several sections of the District of Columbia Official Code. Most prominent in the new piece of legislation is the addition of a ""foreclosure mediation"" section, which has specific requirements banks must meet before proceeding with a foreclosure. Foreclosure sales resulting from a process that skipped a step or proceeded incorrectly will be considered void.

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Servicers with Widespread Paperwork Errors May Face Regulatory Fines

Federal banking regulators are in the process of conducting an in-depth review of foreclosure practices at the nation's largest mortgage servicers, which includes on-site evaluations and examinations of loan files. Officials say in cases where problems are found, regulators will require lenders and servicers to correct not only the faulty documents but the faulty systems that allowed them to occur. One Federal Reserve governor says institutions with ""widespread problems"" could also be subject to fees and penalties.

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NCS Launches Advanced Employment Verification Reporting System

NCS, a provider of income, identity, and credit intelligence, has launched VOE CONFIRM, an advanced employment verification solution that enables lenders to confirm potential borrowers' ability to repay. Verification is provided within 24 to 48 hours. Lenders submit their employment verification requests through NCS's secure Web site, and NCS staff members make personal phone calls to verify the employment information given by the potential borrower.

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New York City Comptroller Wants Banks to Perform Independent Audits

New York City Comptroller John C. Liu has called on the directors at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup to conduct an independent audit of their mortgage and foreclosure practices. Liu, who is a trustee of the New York City Pension Funds called upon the banks to perform the audit on behalf of the group.

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Fannie Mae’s Chief Finance Officer to Step Down at Year-End

David Johnson will resign from his position of EVP and CFO at Fannie Mae by the end of the year, the GSE said in a regulatory filing this week. Until a successor is named, Johnson's No. 2, Deputy CFO David Hisey, will assume his responsibilities. Johnson stepped into the role two months after Fannie Mae was seized by the federal government in September 2008.

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Mortgage Cadence Offers Integration with Fannie Mae EarlyCheck

Mortgage Cadence, LLC announced it will support Fannie Mae's Loan Quality Initiative (LQI) with the direct integration of EarlyCheck. According to the company, the integration will validate critical data prior to delivering a loan to Fannie Mae and reduce funding and pooling delays after submission. EarlyCheck was developed by the GSE to ensure that delivered loans meet standard and negotiated terms with fewer delivery stops by providing identity checks, property and occupancy checks, and eligibility verification.

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CoreLogic Home Price Index Shows Decline for Second Straight Month

Home prices in the United States have declined for two months in a row, according to CoreLogic's market index, after rising for the first seven months of the year. The latest CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) shows that national home prices, including distressed sales, declined 2.79 percent in September 2010 when compared to September 2009. That follows a drop of 1.08 percent in August 2010 from a year earlier. All but seven states saw a decline in residential property values during the month of September.

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HAMP’s Progress Remains Sluggish, Officials See Other Gains in Housing

Fewer than 500,000 homeowners have received permanent assistance through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and are still current on their new payments. During the month of October, only 23,750 permanent modifications were granted. Many have called HAMP's results disappointing, but administration officials assert that the full spectrum of housing policies have helped bring stability to a very challenging housing market.

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J.D. Power and Associates Survey Shows Borrower Satisfaction Declining

A study released Thursday by J.D. Power and Associates shows that the time from submission of a mortgage application to approval time has increased by more than a week when compared to a year ago, despite changes in RESPA guidelines intended to streamline the process. J.D. Power says this longer timeline has had a negative impact on borrower satisfaction. The nation's largest mortgage lenders - BofA, JPMorgan, and Citi - ranked lowest in the firm's customer satisfaction survey.

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Are the Days of Rock-Bottom Mortgage Rates Behind Us?

Mortgage interest rates rose dramatically this week, after lingering around half-century lows for months. The upsurge comes just two weeks after the Federal Reserve announced plans to purchase another $600 billion in Treasury securities, a move that is meant to hold interest rates down. Rates are still extremely low by historical standards, but the sharp increases seen in just one week's time - long-term rates jumped by about 20 basis points in two separate industry studies - serve as an abrupt reminder that trends can reverse on a dime.

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