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Freddie Mac, ABA Extend Alliance to Fuel Housing Market Recovery

Freddie Mac and the American Bankers Association have extended their eight-year-old alliance -- a move the companies say will enable community banks to compete in the purchase money mortgage market, thus fueling the nation's housing recovery. The companies said their alliance provides ABA's community bank members with access to critical mortgage products, technology, and exclusive staff training on many Freddie Mac products and solutions.

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Mortgage Application Volume Soars Almost 18%

Bolstered by a rebound in purchase applications and a surge in refinance applications, total mortgage loan application volume soared 17.7 percent for the week ending June 11, 2010, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday. According to MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the purchase index broke its streak of declines and inched up 7.3 percent from the week prior. In addition, MBA said the refinance index shot up 21.1 percent from the previous week.

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Massachusetts Foreclosure Petitions Drop 9%: Report

Lenders initiated fewer foreclosures in Massachusetts in May than they did a year ago and in the prior month, according to a new report from the Warren Group, a Boston-based real estate research firm. Foreclosures petitions, which mark the first step of the foreclosure process in the Bay State, fell 9.4 percent from May 2009 and were also down 13.2 percent compared to April 2010. But while new foreclosures subsided last month, the number of completed foreclosures in Massachusetts more than doubled compared to a year earlier.

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FHFA Orders Fannie, Freddie to Delist Stock from NYSE

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to delist their common and preferred stock from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and any other national securities exchange. FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco says a voluntary delisting at this time ""simply makes sense"" and is in line with the goals of the conservatorship to protect their assets. Both GSEs' stock prices dropped nearly 40 percent on Wednesday.

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California’s Foreclosure Activity Drops Across the Board: Report

Foreclosure activity in California is beginning to trend downward. The locally-based tracking firm ForeclosureRadar says its statistics dropped last month for every stage of the foreclosure process, with new defaults down more than 17 percent. It's the second straight month that the company has recorded across-the-board declines. But ForeclosureRadar remains cautious in its analysis, noting that many distressed homeowners have simply vacated the property and thrown in the towel on modifying their loan or completing a short sale.

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Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation Awarded $500,000

The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) recently received a program-related investment in the amount of $500,000 from the Meadows Foundation, a private philanthropic institution based in Dallas, Texas. According to TSAHC, this award will support construction financing for the rehabilitation and development of foreclosed and vacant properties purchased through its Affordable Communities of Texas land banking program.

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Tranzact IS Launches New Program to Help Lenders Retain Customers

Tranzact Information Services recently announced the launch of Loyalty Assurance, a new program designed to help lenders achieve ""dramatic improvement"" in customer retention rates. According to the company, this program enables lenders to retain incremental customers by leveraging credit inquiries to help lenders identify customers who are actively shopping for a mortgage loan.

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MOS Group Expands Loss Mitigation Services to Include HAFA Solutions

MOS Group, Inc. has expanded its service offerings to include short sales and deeds-in-lieu that comply with the Treasury Department's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program requirements. In order to assist borrowers throughout all phases of this process, MOS Group said it is leveraging its borrower-focused methodology, comprehensive employee training and education program, and highly transparent technology platform.

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BofA Completes an Additional 16,000 Permanent HAMP Mods in May

Bank of America's loss mitigation activity under the administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has risen once again. In an announcement Tuesday, the bank said it converted an additional 16,000 homeowners from trial to permanent contracts in the past month, bringing its total completed HAMP modifications to more than 70,000. However, Bank of America said it does not expect these modifications to be fully reflected in the Treasury Department's monthly progress report.

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Fremont Exits Chapter 11 Under Court-Approved Reorganization Plan

Fremont General Corp. is back in business. The Anaheim, California-based company, once one of the nation's largest subprime lenders, has officially exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, following the completion of a court-approved reorganization plan by Signature Group Holdings, LLC. Under Signature's plan, Fremont changed its name to Signature Group Holdings, Inc., and the company will now focus on credit-oriented special situation lending and investments in middle-market companies on a national basis.

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