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President Obama to Veto Notary Bill Because of Foreclosure Implications

A controversial notary bill has flown under the radar amid reports of servicers' ""robo-signers"" who reflexively shoveled foreclosure cases through the pipeline without having the documents properly notarized. The bill would require state and federal courts to recognize any notarization made by a licensed notary public in any state. Critics say it would make it harder for borrowers to contest the legality of a foreclosure on the grounds of improper documentation. The bill has passed both chambers of Congress, but President Obama says he will not sign it.

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Mesa Law Group Enhances Loan Mod Program with New Reporting Tool

Mesa Law Group, a California firm with specialty financial services, recently announced the addition of a REST Report to its Loan Modification Preparation Program (LMPP). The new tool will aid clients in the loan modification process without the high cost of direct representation. According to Mesa Law Group, LMPP allows homeowners to organize finances and better navigate the demands of their lenders.

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Mortgage Rates Continue Descent, Hitting New Record Lows

Mortgage interest rates dropped again this week, setting new record-lows across the board. Analysts say we have bond investors to thank for the continuing declines. Investors are expecting the Fed to begin pumping more money into the economy to reinvigorate the now lukewarm recovery, so there's been a rush to buy up mass amounts of government- and mortgage-backed debt. This, in turn, has served to drive mortgage rates lower - now at their lowest point in more than a half-century.

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Wells Fargo Offers Pick-a-Payment Customers a Reprieve

Wells Fargo & Co. announced this week that from December 18, 2010, through June 30, 2013, Wachovia Pick-a-Payment customers who are at-risk of default may be eligible to earn principal forgiveness by making on-time mortgage payments. The company says it has already written mortgage principals down by a total of nearly $3.4 billion for Pick-a-Payment customers. The bank will also contribute $24 million to eight states to help with customer outreach and alleviate the impact of foreclosure in local communities.

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First Preston Housing Solutions Names New President

First Preston Housing Solutions, LLC, a nationwide, full-service REO marketing, management, and real estate advisory services company, has named Michele John Kelaart its new company president. Kelaart brings to the company 20 years of experience investing and managing distressed residential mortgages and REO inventories with a large multinational investment firm.

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Clear Capital Sees Evidence of Early Winter Slowdown in Home Prices

Data released by Clear Capital Thursday shows that quarter-over-quarter home prices were down 0.2 percent in September compared to the previous month's reading. It's the first time in months the company has seen national home prices slip into negative territory. Clear Capital says signs of a slowdown are apparent and likely mark an early onset of the typically weaker winter season. However, the company says home prices are still 10 percent above their 2009 lows, so the risk of carving out a new trough this year remains small.

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Ohio Attorney General Files Fraud Suit Against GMAC Mortgage

The foreclosure paperwork gaffe at GMAC Mortgage has garnered heavy attention from the highest legal counsels in states across the country, and at least one attorney general is pressing charges. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday against GMAC Mortgage and Ally Financial, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray accuses the loan servicer and its agents of filing fraudulent affidavits in an attempt to mislead Ohio's courts. He is seeking a preliminary foreclosure injunction, $25,000 for every violation, and consumer restitution.

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Market for Las Vegas Valley Still Bleak, Says Report

According to recently released reports from the Nevada Title Company, the closing price for homes in Las Vegas Valley was $135,000 in September, down $5,000 from the closing price in August and down $3,000 from September 2009. Last month, 984 REO homes and 734 short sales were closed, making up 40 percent and 31 percent of all closings in the Valley, respectively. The latest figures from Nevada Title suggest that REO inventory, although high, may begin to steady in coming months.

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Report: Private Mortgage Insurance Enjoys Best Month in August

Based on data from six member firms, Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MICA) reports that the companies accounted for a total of $780.3 billion in primary mortgage insurance in force in August. The private mortgage insurance industry enjoyed its best month of the year for new business. The dollar volume of primary insurance on newly originated conventional mortgages totaled $6.4 billion. MICA's members reported that 32,215 borrowers used private mortgage insurance to buy or refinance a home in August.

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Chase Will Offer Mortgage Aid to Unemployed Michigan Borrowers

Chase announced this week that it plans to participate in Michigan's Hardest Hit Fund program to offer assistance to homeowners in the state who are receiving unemployment benefits. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority designed the program to help borrowers stay current on their mortgage even after they have lost their jobs. Chase will partner with the state agency to make the program available to its customers. The program will pay up to half of qualified borrowers' monthly mortgage payments for up to 12 months.

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