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HOPE LoanPort Names CEO and Board of Directors

Seven housing industry veterans will lead HOPE LoanPort, the counselor Web-based tool that streamlines the submission of completed loan modification applications. In an announcement Wednesday, the organization named its CEO and the six individuals that will serve on its board of directors.

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Companies Join Forces to Provide “Mods in Minutes”

Intelenet Global Services and SigniaDocs Inc. have partnered to offer lenders and servicers a scalable eModification solution. The two companies explained that this online, real-time approach compresses today's lengthy and arduous loan modification process to identify and collect required documents into a "Mods in Minutes" solution - technology they say could help to overcome some of the biggest obstacles of the government's Home Affordable Modification Program.

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California AG Shuts Down Foreclosure Relief Companies

California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. forced two foreclosure rescue firms to close their doors this week and secured a court judgment that prohibits the three principal individuals involved from ever again working in the real estate industry. Brown also recovered more than $1 million in restitution for victims he says were left with ""false hope"" after paying upfront fees for loan modification services that were never delivered.

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Inspector General Concludes HAMP Goals Are Inflated

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) will fall far short of the administration's promise to prevent foreclosure for 3 to 4 million homeowners, according to one federal watchdog. Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, says HAMP's disappointing results have raised questions about the program's effectiveness. He's determined that Treasury has set targets that aren't ""meaningful"" and that HAMP is ""particularly vulnerable to re-defaults.""

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Florida’s Existing Home, Condo Sales Surge in February

Florida's existing home and condo sales rose on both a month-to-month and year-over-year basis in February, according housing data released Tuesday by Florida Realtors. Existing home sales increased 21 percent from February 2009, and condo sales surged 59 percent from a year ago.

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MFS Supply Opens West Coast Distribution Center

MFS Supply LLC, an Ohio-based company that provides locks, lock boxes, and property management supplies to those in the real estate and general contractor industry, has opened a 10,500 square foot warehouse in Santa Fe Springs, California. The company says its new distribution center will greatly decrease ground shipping time and cost to West Coast customers. MFS is also offering free shipping on certain orders.

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BofA to Offer Principal Forgiveness to Some Underwater Homeowners

In an effort to encourage greater homeowner participation in modification programs, Bank of America has launched a new approach to modify severely underwater loans. The bank announced Wednesday that it will first look at principal forgiveness -- ahead of an interest rate reduction -- when modifying certain subprime and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). BofA expects to slice off an estimated $3 billion from loan balances through this initiative.

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Mortgage Applications Decline as Interest Rates Rise

Marking the second consecutive week of decreased activity, mortgage application volume fell 4.2 percent for the week ending March 19, 2010, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday. The slump coincided with 30-year mortgage rates inching above the 5 percent mark.

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