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Wells, Citi, and PHH Maintain Foreclosure Procedures Are Sound

All the news of flawed, perhaps fraudulent, foreclosure paperwork has many worried that housing's feeble recovery could quickly derail. A number of large lenders have frozen foreclosure actions and REO sales, but there are several major names that are standing by initial claims that their foreclosure affidavits are legitimate. Wells Fargo says its process is ""sound"" despite a newly uncovered deposition by a self-proclaimed robo-signer and former employee. Citigroup and PHH Mortgage also say they have no reason to stop foreclosures in process.

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Ohio AG Seeks Preliminary Injunction in GMAC Foreclosure Case

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has filed a preliminary injunction seeking to prevent GMAC Mortgage from completing foreclosure sales in his state that he says are based on faulty affidavits. Cordray filed suit October 6th against GMAC; its parent, Ally Financial Inc.; and one of its employees, alleging fraud against Ohio consumers and Ohio courts. The preliminary injunction asks that GMAC stop its ""faulty affidavit practices"" while the lawsuit is pending.

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Seven Million U.S. Mortgages Past Due or in Foreclosure: LPS

There are 7,018,000 mortgages in the United States that are 30 or more days delinquent or in the process of foreclosure, according to new data from Lender Processing Services (LPS). Of the more than 7 million home loans in the country currently going unpaid, 2,055,000 have already commenced foreclosure proceedings. LPS reports that 4,963,000 are in the pre-foreclosure default stages, with nearly half of these falling into the 90-plus-days delinquent bucket.

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Quicken Loans Closes $3.4 Billion in Loan Volume in September

Quicken Loans Inc., one of the nation's largest online mortgage lenders, reports it closed approximately 15,500 home loans totaling $3.4 billion in loan volume in September. It's the largest monthly closed volume in the company's 25-year history. September's production surpassed the previous record set just last month. Quicken Loan's saw nearly 14,000 closed loans and $3.15 billion in loan volume in August.

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Jones Lang LaSalle Welcomes Two New Executives

Jones Lang LaSalle, a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate, has added two new executives to its real estate investment banking practice in Southern California and Houston. Bob Morey joins the firm's Los Angeles office as an EVP, and Ross Cannizaro was hired to the firm's Houston office as a VP.

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Judge Throws Out Case Against Countrywide

A New York judge threw out a case against Countrywide Financial by investors who wanted the company to buy back mortgages that it had reduced payments for. Investors claimed it is unfair for them to have to absorb the cost of modified loans, and that Countrywide was required under contract to buy back any mortgages that it modified. In 2008, Bank of America agreed to an $8.4 billion settlement with attorneys general from several states regarding predatory lending charges against Countrywide.

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Congressional Panel Sees Conflicts of Interest from TARP Contractors

The Congressional Oversight Panel has ""significant concerns"" related to accountability and conflicts of interest because of Treasury's extensive use of private contractors to carry out functions for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), particularly foreclosure prevention efforts. The largest TARP contracts were awarded to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie alone employs 600 workers on TARP's foreclosure programs, while Treasury has only 220 staffers working on all TARP programs combined.

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FHFA Orders Paperwork Fixes but Insists Foreclosures Should Proceed

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has issued a new policy that outlines specific steps Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicers should take to identify and correct deficiencies in foreclosure paperwork. Evidence of servicing staff cutting corners to process foreclosures quickly has lawmakers, consumer advocates, and the entire general public calling for an immediate moratorium on foreclosures. But FHFA says bringing the process to a complete halt is not the answer.

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Weak Job Market Strong Dynamic in Commercial Mortgage Performance

The nation's poor employment picture has become one of the biggest impediments to a perceptible recovery in the mortgage markets - both for residential and commercial real estate. Job loss is now the primary trigger of default among struggling homeowners, and two separate research reports have uncovered a clear correlation between state-specific delinquency rates for commercial mortgages and unemployment levels. Nevada and Michigan rank among the highest for both, according to Fitch and Moody's.

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Shaky Economy Keeping People Out of the Housing Market: Survey

Nearly two-thirds of American adults (63 percent) say the current economic situation makes them less likely to buy a house, especially lower-income individuals and families, according to a new national survey by FindLaw.com, a legal information Web site. Mortgage rates are at record lows and the market is saturated with homes, but only 8 percent of people say the current economic situation makes them more likely to buy a house.

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