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CBO Expects Treasury to Use Just $20B of TARP to Mitigate Foreclosures

The Treasury has committed $50 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) to pay servicers for helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. New estimates released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that the administration is expected to use no more than $20 billion for servicer incentives when all is said and done - indicating that HAMP will help far fewer distressed homeowners than originally promised.

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Outstanding Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Debt Declines in Q4 ’09

Driven by drops in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and construction loans held by banks and thrifts, the level of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding in the fourth quarter of 2009 decreased on both a quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) analysis of the Federal Reserve Board Flow of Funds data.

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Foreclosure Starts Up Nearly 20% in California

Notice of defaults, which represent the start of the foreclosure process in California, increased by 19.7 percent in February, according to new data released this week by a locally-based company that tracks every foreclosure in the state. The sudden jump comes after four straight months of declines, when default notices fell to their lowest level in a year. The about-face has quickly quelled any ideas that California might be starting to make its way out of a crippling housing crisis.

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Mortgage Rates Barely Budge This Week

Mortgage rates for the week ending March 18, 2010 showed very little movement from last week, Freddie Mac and Bankrate reported Thursday. According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates for 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 4.96 percent with an average 0.7 point this week, nudging up from last week's average of 4.95 percent. Bankrate reported that rates for 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 5.07 percent, a slight drop from last week's average of 5.08 percent.

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Hotel Reservations: Fitch Expects Hotel CMBS Defaults to Hit 30%

Since the peak of 2008, hotel revenue has declined almost 20 percent. Fitch Ratings says it's the largest decline among the major commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) property types. Given the current capital restrictions, the agency predicts defaults on hotel loans held by CMBS investors will nearly double by 2012 - with delinquencies jumping from the current level of 16.6 percent to 30 percent.

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Equator Launches HAFA Software Solution

With the effective date of the administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) program just around the corner, lenders and servicers are preparing for an influx of short sale and deed-in-lieu requests. In an effort to provide industry professionals with the technology they will need to service the hundreds of thousands of loans estimated to be eligible for HAFA, Equator Financial Solutions, a Los Angeles-based software provider of default servicing solutions, is launching a HAFA software solution.

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Lending Valuation Company Appoints Director of Client Relations

Santa Barbara, California-based Equi-Trax Asset Solutions, LP, a national collateral valuation provider offering a line of hybrid valuation products that bridges the gap between broker price opinions and full appraisals, recently promoted Danielle Drewisch to the position of director of client relations.

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Pro Teck Unveils Appraisal Order Portal for Wholesale Market

Pro Teck Valuation Services announced Tuesday the expansion of its service offerings with the introduction of a configurable appraisal order portal for wholesale and retail mortgage origination. The platform, already in use by top national mortgage wholesalers, is designed to meet both regulatory and investor appraisal requirements.

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