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Fed in Same Boat as Banks on Soured Real Estate Assets

The Federal Reserve has gotten a first-hand look at the kind of havoc residential and commercial real estate loans can wreak on a balance sheet in today's market. It can now fully appreciate the woes that lenders and mortgage investors have been facing since the downturn. That's because the Fed's New York bank now finds itself in the very same boat, after two monolithic financial bailouts in 2008 - Bear Stearns and American International Group (AIG) - saddled the federal institution's books with a heap of souring loans.

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Fitch: Prime RMBS Delinquencies Increase; Subprime Late-Pays Fall

With serious delinquencies up for the 34th consecutive month, U.S. prime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) late-pays surpassed 10 percent in March, but during the same month, subprime delinquencies fell for the first time in nearly four years, Fitch Ratings reported in its latest edition of Performance Metrics.

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Credit Union Regulator Readies Securitization of $50B in ‘Toxic’ Loans

The National Credit Union Association (NCUA) is planning to securitize more than $50 billion of what the organization has deemed to be ""toxic assets that caused the meltdown."" The NCUA, which serves the same regulatory and depository insurance role for credit unions as the FDIC does for banks, would be following in the fashion of its banking counterpart, turning to the secondary market to quickly dispose of poorly performing loans. The FDIC has successfully completed three such transactions over the past month.

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MBA Reports 1.2 Million Households Lost During the Recession

A study released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) showed that an estimated 1.2 million households were lost from 2005 to 2008, despite the population increase of 3.4 million in the study area. MBA says this decline in households was likely a significant factor to the excess supply of apartments and single-family homes currently on the market. Given its strong tie to unemployment, it's expected that household formation won't return to normal levels until 2012.

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Early Reaction to HAFA Program

The administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program hasn't even been in effect for a full week, and positive feedback is already coming in. Loan Resolution Corporation, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based pre-foreclosure asset manager that acts as a vendor for banks implementing HAFA, said it expects a tremendous surge in short sales to accompany the recent implementation of this new program.

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Mortgage Application Volume Plummets 11%

A decline in refinance activity due to a spike in interest rates caused overall mortgage loan application volume to plummet 11 percent for the week ending April 2, 2010, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday.According to MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the Refinance Index tumbled 16. percent from the previous week, and the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 58.7 percent of total applications from 63.2 percent the week prior. However, the Purchase Index increased 0.2 percent on a week-to-week basis.

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PMI Pulls Back 2010 Forecast on Year’s Soft Start

PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. is tempering its expectations for the housing market. Although the industry is finally beginning to see some light through the debris of the national mortgage crisis, the California-based company says 2010 has gotten off to a slow start, putting the brakes on any projections for a swift recovery. PMI projects existing home sales to reach 5.50 million units by the end of the year, and prices to end 2010 at about the same level they started.

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Home Price Forecast: Fear and Greed Are Detroit’s 10-4

In its home price forecast released last week, University Financial Associates (UFA) put things into perspective for Detroit, a city besieged by unemployment and plummeting property values, and riddled with foreclosed homes. UFA says in the Motor City, 10 years of real price gains were erased in just 4 years.

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Mortgage Production Profits Fall in the Fourth Quarter of 2009

Although still favorable, profit margins for independent mortgage bankers and subsidiaries fell in the fourth quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported in its most recent Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report. According to the report, independent mortgage bankers and subsidiaries made an average profit of $890 on each loan they originated in the fourth quarter of 2009, down from $902 per loan in the third quarter of 2009 but up from $296 in the fourth quarter of 2008.

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