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Government Agencies Hold 46% of REO Inventory…and More Is Coming

As the GSEs and other federal agencies sell their collective inventory of repossessed homes, they will generate significant pressure on prices, according to Radar Logic. The company's analysis shows that the government's REO inventory now accounts for 46 percent of the nation's total bank-owned supply, which equates to 219,060 foreclosed homes. Add to that its share of non-performing loans heading to foreclosure, and the government's REO holdings could balloon to 3.1 million properties.

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Commercial/Multifamily Debt Outstanding Falls Slightly in Q1 ’10: MBA

Driven by drops in commercial and multifamily mortgages held in commercial mortgage-backed securities and construction loans held by banks, the level of commercial/multifamily debt outstanding fell to $3.31 trillion in the first quarter of this year, according to a recent study by the Mortgage Bankers Association. That represents a $31 billion, or 0.9 percent, decrease from the fourth quarter of 2009. However, multifamily mortgage debt alone rose to $852 billion, an increase of $3 billion, or 0.4 percent, from the previous quarter.

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Short Sale Commander Reaches $600 Million Milestone

ELK Software announced last week that users of its Short Sale Commander platform have closed more than $600 million in short sales since the system was launched in early 2009. In addition, the company says more than 22,000 active residential short-sale listings valued at over $3.3 billion are currently employing Commander tools. The software features built-in comparable and automated valuation model (AVM) tools that enable agents to price distressed listings with a single-click.

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Fannie Mae Adopts New Rules for Pre-Mod Income Verification

A general practice of servicers today is to consider borrowers for a standard Fannie Mae mortgage modification based solely on the homeowners' verbal statement of their financial information. But that's about to change. The GSE has issued new servicing guidelines stating that effective July 15, 2010, all servicers must verify the borrower's income, liabilities, and monthly expenses to determine that a financial hardship does exist, before a loan modification can be offered.

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Regulators Seize Control of Three More Community Banks

Banks in Florida, Georgia, and New Mexico were shut down over the weekend, bringing the number of failed FDIC-insured institutions to 86 for the year. That's nearly twice the number of closings at this time last year. The FDIC says it expects bank failures to peak in the latter half of 2010. The agency has earmarked $40 billion to cover institutional closings between March 2010 and March 2011 as community banks continue to fold under the weight of bad real estate loans made during the boom.

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Bill Extending Tax Credit Closing Deadline Falls Through in Senate

An amendment that would have extended the closing deadline for the homebuyer tax credit by three months failed on the Senate floor this week. The amendment itself was approved by a large margin last week as an add-on to the larger American Jobs and Tax Loopholes Act. Republican senators, though, defeated the full measure on Thursday, for the third and final time. Industry estimates warn that some 180,000 eligible homebuyers will not be able to make the June 30 closing deadline.

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Mortgage Relief for Unemployed Secures Place in Financial Reform

The landmark financial reform legislation approved by House and Senate leaders on Friday includes a provision which offers a remedy to the growing number of unemployed homeowners who are facing foreclosure. The amendment provides $1 billion to ensure homeowners who've lost their jobs don't lapse on mortgage payments. Qualified homeowners will be able to borrow up to $50,000 to assist them with monthly payments, provided they have ""a reasonable prospect"" of resuming mortgage payments within 24 months.

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Freddie Mac’s Mortgage Holdings Shrink, Delinquencies Remain Flat

Mortgage giant Freddie Mae reduced the size of its mortgage portfolio in May, while the delinquency rate of single-family home loans it guarantees stood unchanged from the previous month. According to the GSE's monthly summary report, its total mortgage portfolio decreased at an annualized rate of 4 percent last month. The drop can be largely attributed to the company's purchases of home loans it had sold to investors that were 120 or more days past due.

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Titleserv National Names Director of REO Sales

Titleserv National has recruited industry veteran John Porath to serve as SVP and director of REO sales for the Woodbury, New York-based firm. Porath will work closely with banks to develop short sale and real estate-owned business for Titleserv, which handles full REO title and closing services in 44 states.

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Congress Reaches Consensus on Financial Reform Legislation

House and Senate leaders have reached an agreement on a reconciled version of their respective chambers' financial reform bills - a historic piece of legislation, which was prompted by a national mortgage crisis that pushed the country's entire financial system to the brink of collapse. The legislation will now go to the full Congress for endorsement. Lawmakers have pledged to have an approved bill on President Obama's desk by the July 4th holiday. Administration officials say the bill that has emerged is ""strong.""

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