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J.D. Power and Associates Survey Shows Borrower Satisfaction Declining

A study released Thursday by J.D. Power and Associates shows that the time from submission of a mortgage application to approval time has increased by more than a week when compared to a year ago, despite changes in RESPA guidelines intended to streamline the process. J.D. Power says this longer timeline has had a negative impact on borrower satisfaction. The nation's largest mortgage lenders - BofA, JPMorgan, and Citi - ranked lowest in the firm's customer satisfaction survey.

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Are the Days of Rock-Bottom Mortgage Rates Behind Us?

Mortgage interest rates rose dramatically this week, after lingering around half-century lows for months. The upsurge comes just two weeks after the Federal Reserve announced plans to purchase another $600 billion in Treasury securities, a move that is meant to hold interest rates down. Rates are still extremely low by historical standards, but the sharp increases seen in just one week's time - long-term rates jumped by about 20 basis points in two separate industry studies - serve as an abrupt reminder that trends can reverse on a dime.

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Mortgage Delinquencies Drop in Third Quarter: MBA

The nation's mortgage delinquency rate declined in the third quarter as the job market showed signs of marginal improvements, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said Thursday. But lenders are still dealing with a massive backlog of defaults, and they stepped up initiations of foreclosure proceedings during the quarter. Even with an increase in foreclosure starts, MBA says the ratio of home loans in the foreclosure process declined, signaling servicers are pushing unpaid mortgages through the pipeline at a faster pace.

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Distressed Sales, Federal Programs Drive 20% Jump in Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud has increased by more than 20 percent since fraud rates reached their lowest point in early 2009, according to CoreLogic. The company says higher risk, high-volume programs, including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration and the Treasury's Home Affordable Refinance Program, as well as REO and short sales accounted for much of the increase. All are areas where activity has risen sharply over short periods of time, or where safeguards are not squarely in place, CoreLogic says.

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Fannie Mae Launches REO Pilot Program

Fannie Mae is testing the waters for a new program that allows real estate agents to submit offers for the company's REO properties on behalf of their clients and track the status of those offers online. The program is being piloted in Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California; and Detroit, Michigan. The new feature is currently available for Fannie Mae-owned homes in these areas through the GSE's HomePath Web site. Officials say the program will provide increased transparency and efficiency in the submission process.

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LPS: More Than 7M Mortgages Are Delinquent or in Foreclosure

There are 7,043,000 mortgages in the United States that are at least 30 days past due or in the process of foreclosure, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS). The company provided a sneak peek at its October month-end mortgage performance data this week. The numbers show the delinquency rate was virtually unchanged from the previous month's reading, but foreclosures are on the rise. LPS says nearly four percent of the nation's home loans have been referred to an attorney for foreclosure.

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Treasury Makes Key Leadership Hires for CFPB Implementation Team

The Treasury has filled two key leadership positions for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) implementation team. The CFPB will have statutory oversight of mortgage lending and the power to set new rules for home loans and other consumer-facing credit products. Steve Antonakes will lead depository supervision, building the consumer supervision program for the nation's largest depository institutions. Peggy Twohig will lead the non-depository supervision team, spearheading efforts to conduct research and policy analysis.

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Mortgage Apps Suffer Largest Drop of the Year as Rates Jump

Consumer demand for home loans plummeted last week as mortgage rates shot up against the backdrop of the Federal Reserve's announcement to pump more money into the economy - an initiative that's designed to keep interest rates low. The total volume of new mortgage applications sank 14.4 percent. It's the biggest week-to-week drop of 2010 and the lowest reading in four months. Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose 18 basis points during the one-week period, but analysts say it's too soon to conclude the Fed got it wrong.

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Private Sector to Lead CRE Recovery, Jones Lang LaSalle Predicts

According to Jones Lang LaSalle, the majority of the commercial real estate (CRE) industry can expect a commercial comeback in 2011. The economic recovery has relied on government stimulus and monetary policy but the results have been tepid at best. JLL says 2011 will be the year the private sector takes the baton and starts to drive growth. The company predicts investment transaction volume will increase by 36 percent, apartments will top the ""hot list"" for investors, and the hotel sector will rebound more quickly than expected.

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Internet Firms Partner to Provide Agents with Single-Property Web Sites

HomeGain has partnered with the Web technology development company AgencyLogic to offer single property Web sites to real estate agent and broker members. HomeGain Property Websites give real estate professionals a venue for showcasing a single home listing, with a custom domain name, the ability to add videos and photos, syndication to search engines, and sharing on social media sites.

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