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HUD Secretary: Problems with Foreclosure Paperwork Not Widespread

The federal government's fraud task force is investigating possible criminal violations in connection with foreclosure documentation errors reported by at least five mortgage servicers. HUD is spearheading the multi-agency probe, which is in its early stages. But HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan told reporters this week that his office has been scrutinizing the industry's servicing practices for the past five months, and has concluded that the documentation problems grabbing headlines are not widespread.

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Fed Beige Book Shows Modest Growth but Weak Real Estate Conditions

The Federal Reserve's popular Beige Book released this week suggests economic activity across most of the nation is showing signs of ""modest"" growth, but it's not enough to improve the anemic jobs picture. Housing markets remained weak with most of the 12 regional districts reporting sales below year-ago levels. But the central bank says its seeing stability in home prices. Conditions in the commercial real estate sector were soft, while overall lending activity was described as stable in most districts.

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MountainView Forms Mortgage Loan and REO Valuation Unit

MountainView Capital Holdings, a provider of financial services for institutions participating in the mortgage and fixed income capital markets, has announced the formation of MountainView Portfolio Analytics, a business unit specializing in valuation of residential whole loans, securitized loans, and REO. The company has been providing valuation services for over 20 years but says it decided to create a separate business unit due to increased market demand.

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Mortgage Rates Head Upward for First Time in Five Weeks

The freefall for mortgage interest rates hit a pause this week. Rates on 30-year mortgages rose for the first time in five weeks, edging up to 4.21 percent, according to data released by Freddie Mac Thursday. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also inched up to 3.64 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages, on the other hand, slipped to new record lows. Bankrate says the ongoing foreclosure controversy surrounding court documents and paperwork errors could ultimately be passed along to future borrowers through higher mortgage rates.

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SigniaDocs Announces Automated Process for Warehouse Lending

SigniaDocs, a national eMortgage solutions provider, has developed an automated system for warehouse lending. The company says with its technology, the entire warehouse lending process, from origination to investor purchase and replenish of the warehouse line, is complete within a couple of days, compared to the typical 14 days in the paper world.

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Price Tag for Fannie and Freddie Bailout Could Double: FHFA

Taxpayers' bill for keeping the nation's two largest mortgage firms afloat could more than double between now and 2013, according to the companies' regulator. To date, Fannie and Freddie have drawn $148 billion from the Treasury since they were placed under government control in September 2008. The two GSEs' could need another $73 billion to $215 billion to maintain positive net worth over the next three years. In a worst-case scenario, the overall tab for keeping Fannie and Freddie in business will reach $363 billion.

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Residential Credit Solutions Deploys IndiSoft’s RxOffice Loss Mitigation

IndiSoft announced Wednesday that Residential Credit Solutions (RCS) has deployed the company's RxOffice Loss Mitigation module. RCS is an integrated investment and servicing company focused on credit-sensitive residential mortgage loans. According to IndiSoft, the module streamlines RCS's processes while improving operating efficiencies for supporting loans in default.

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FICO Analytics Incorporated into Experian’s MBS Solution

Analytics provider FICO recently announced that Experian Capital Markets is adding FICO credit scores to its CreditHorizons for Securities solution. Sellers and investors of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) use Experian's CreditHorizons for Securities to surmount the limitations of loan-level data when analyzing credit risk in potential bond investments. FICO says the addition of the FICO score will give securities managers, marketers, and investors deeper insight into the creditworthiness of underlying mortgages in loan pools.

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House Committee to Investigate Mortgage Servicing Problems

The House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity will hold a hearing on the industry's foreclosure paperwork errors when Congress reconvenes next month. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who chairs the subcommittee, expressed disappointment in Bank of America and GMAC Mortgage for lifting their foreclosure freezes this week. Waters has introduced legislation that would prohibit a bank from initiating foreclosure proceedings without offering the homeowner loss mitigation.

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RE/MAX Predicts Increased Home Sales in Coming Months

According to RE/MAX's monthly report, the housing market is attempting to return to traditional seasonal trends after a slow summer following the spring rush to qualify for the government's homebuyer tax credit. September sales were 6.4 percent below those in August and 20.6 percent below sales in September 2009, but RE/MAX officials say they are encouraged by reports of signed contracts in the field, which should translate into increased home sales in the months ahead.

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