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SEC Proposes Rules to Revise Regulatory Regime for ABS

On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed rules that would revise the disclosure, reporting, and offering process for asset-backed securities (ABS) to better protect investors in the securitization market. The proposed rules are intended to provide investors with more detailed and current information about ABS, including mortgage-backed securities, and more time to make their investment decisions.

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Boom-Era Prices Won’t Return Until 2025 for Some Markets: Study

For many U.S. markets, the return to peak home prices will be a long, slow road, according to Fiserv, Inc. The company says markets that experienced the biggest price bubbles, including certain metro areas in California, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada, won't see home prices return to pre-crisis levels until 2025 or later. Many other markets, including major urban centers in the Northeast and industrial Midwest, may need to wait a decade or more until prices get back to to their previous peaks.

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Mortgage Rates: The Journey Upward Continues

Upbeat economic news propelled mortgage rates even higher this week, Freddie Mac and Bankrate reported Thursday. According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.21 percent for the week ending April 8, 2010, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.52 percent. Bankrate said 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 5.35 percent, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.69 percent.

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Federal Home Loan Bank Endorses Iowa Subservicer

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines has approved Nationwide Advantage Mortgage Company as a subservicer for certain mortgage products. The subservicing program is available for participating financial institutions that may not want to incur the expense and operational risks associated with servicing these mortgage loans.

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USFN Hosts First Loan Management & Servicing Seminar of the Year

USFN, America's Mortgage Banking Attorneys, recently hosted its first Loan Management & Servicing Seminar of 2010. Close to 400 attendees gathered at the Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas hotel in Dallas March 17-19 to participate in the event. The seminar featured more than 20 informative sessions, open roundtable discussions, and timely forums that covered increasingly hot topics in the industry.

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NAACP Dismisses Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said Thursday that it is ending its lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank alleging violations of the Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity Acts and racial discrimination. Wells Fargo has invited the NAACP to review its lending practices and make recommendations to further improve credit availability to African Americans and assist borrowers facing foreclosures. The NAACP remains in litigation with 14 other financial institutions.

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FDIC’s Suzy Gardner on Bank Failures

The FDIC has been hit with a tsunami of bank failures, and the culprit of many traces directly to bad real estate loans. The Congressional Oversight Panel released estimates back in February that put losses from defaults on commercial real estate loans over the next few years as high as $300 billion, threatening to topple nearly 3,000 community banks nationwide. At The Five Star Institute's Commercial Default 360 event in Dallas Tuesday, the FDIC's Beverlea S. ""Suzy"" Gardner addressed this very issue.

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Residential Real Estate Market is Picking Up in Connecticut

Both single-family homes and condos in Connecticut saw increases in sales and prices in February of this year compared to the same month in 2009, according to a report released Tuesday by The Warren Group, a provider of real estate data in New England. Connecticut's single-family home sales surged 27 percent from February 2009 to February 2010, marking the fourth straight month that sales have increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages. And statewide condo sales shot up 19.6 percent from February 2009, which was the fifth month in a row that condo sales increased year-over-year.

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Consumer Loan Delinquencies Fall in Eight Categories in Q4 2009

Consumer loan delinquencies fell in eight of 11 loan categories in the fourth quarter of 2009, marking the second quarter in a row of broad-based improvement, according to the Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin released Wednesday by the American Bankers Association (ABA). The organization's chief economist said the news is a strong indication that the economy is on an upswing. The results for housing loans, though, were mixed.

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Fed in Same Boat as Banks on Soured Real Estate Assets

The Federal Reserve has gotten a first-hand look at the kind of havoc residential and commercial real estate loans can wreak on a balance sheet in today's market. It can now fully appreciate the woes that lenders and mortgage investors have been facing since the downturn. That's because the Fed's New York bank now finds itself in the very same boat, after two monolithic financial bailouts in 2008 - Bear Stearns and American International Group (AIG) - saddled the federal institution's books with a heap of souring loans.

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