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Ginnie Mae Issuance Tops $29 Billion in February

The Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) guaranteed more than $29.3 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in February, the association announced Monday. Total single-family issuance for February was more than $28 billion, Ginnie Mae's multifamily MBS issuance was more than $730 million.

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Sen. Dodd Unveils Financial Reform Bill

Sen. Christopher Dodd introduced legislation Monday that outlines a revamp of the nation's financial regulatory system. The long-awaited reform bill calls for the creation of an ""independent"" Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate mortgages and other loan products. It also establishes a systemic risk council, which has the authority to force complex firms to divest some of their holdings if they become ""too big to fail,"" and it requires the largest financial firms to contribute to a $50 billion fund that would be used to pay for future financial collapses.

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U.S. RMBS Losses to Increase as Government Programs Expire

With the expiration of several key government support programs looming, loss severities on distressed U.S. residential mortgage loans are likely to escalate, Fitch Ratings recently reported. The expiration in the coming months of both the homebuyer tax credit and the Federal Reserve's $1.25 trillion mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchase program will increase negative pressure on home prices and loss severities.

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Leaders Convene at ‘Neighborhood Stabilization Boot Camp’

In an effort to develop new strategies for stabilizing neighborhoods that experience large numbers of foreclosures, dozens of local officials from 12 of the regions hit hardest by the housing crisis are meeting at Harvard University this week for the Neighborhood Stabilization Boot Camp.

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Equator’s Active Short Sales Top 125,000

Default servicing software provider Equator announced Monday that the company's platform is automating over 125,000 active short sales. Short sales are becoming an increasingly vital strategy for lenders in their struggle to clear underperforming assets. Equator stresses that the keys to a successful short sale are accessibility, responsiveness, communication and fulfillment.

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BofA Completes Nearly 21,000 Permanent HAMP Mods

Bank of America completed 20,666 permanent modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program as of February 28, 2010, up from 12,761 a month earlier. The bank also has 22,303 additional permanent HAMP modifications that are pending and leads the mortgage servicing industry with more than 240,000 active trial modifications under HAMP.

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Wells Fargo Surpasses Half Million Modification Mark

As of February 28, 2010, Wells Fargo & Co. had 505,832 active trial and completed modifications through its own modification programs and the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). According to the administration's February HAMP report card released Friday, Wells Fargo completed more permanent modifications than any other HAMP servicer.

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Four More Community Banks Closed by Regulators

The tally of bank casualties in the wake of the real estate downturn and the ensuing economic crisis continues to swell. This weekend, regulators shut the doors on four more regional lenders - two in New York and one each in Florida and Louisiana. That brings the number of institutions on the FDIC's failed bank list to 30 for the year.

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LPS Study Finds Pace of Delinquencies Is Slowing

While delinquency rates in the United States continue to reach new highs, the pace of deterioration has slowed, Lender Processing Services (LPS) said Monday. Still, company's analysts caution that the nation's housing market remains far from a full recovery. According to LPS' latest Mortgage Monitor report, nearly 7.5 million loans are in some stage of delinquency or foreclosure, with an additional one million properties in REO or post-sale foreclosure.

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Housing Doesn’t Fare Well in John Burns Report Card

By grade school standards, the U.S. housing market would most likely get grounded, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting's (JBREC) monthly report card issued this week. The market research and due diligence firm gave housing an overall grade of D+. Affordability, which the firm says is probably the most important indicator of short-term housing market performance, was able to pull out a C-, but the nation's housing supply got an F.

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