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Defaults on FHA Loans Surpass 9%

Even with improvements beginning to peek through the debris of the housing crisis, mortgage defaults continue to rise at an incredible rate, and the story is no different for the federal government's mortgage insurance agency. The latest numbers from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) show that loans at least 90 days past due hit 9.12 percent at the end of 2009. That figure is up from 6.82 percent one year earlier. Foreclosures also soared 41 percent, but short sales as a means of avoiding foreclosures outpaced even that figure, increasing 140 percent.

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LPS Reports Net Earnings of $74.9M in Q4

Lender Processing Services (LPS) turned a $74.9 million profit in the fourth quarter, or 77 cents per share. The Florida-based company attributed its success to record improvements in its loan facilitation business, as well as solid demand for its default services as lenders continue to seek out efficiencies to handle a still-growing number of defaults and foreclosures.

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White House Dropped 5% in Value in 2009

Not even the nation's most recognized and iconic home can escape the deterioration that typifies today's real estate landscape. The value of the White House fell 5.1 percent last year, according to the online real estate marketplace Zillow.com. In January 2008, the company put the value of the White House at $308 million. Twelve months later, and the 132-room mansion built in 1792 is worth $292.5 million.

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eClosingNet Quickly Gains Industry Acceptance

The innovative eClosingNet (eCN) service offered by eLynx, a Cincinnati-based portfolio company of American Capital, has gained industry acceptance quicker than anticipated, according to a recent announcement by the company.

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New Integration Launched by Ellie Mae and Mortech

Lincoln, Nebraska-based Mortech, Inc., a mortgage technology software company, has joined forces with Ellie Mae, the Pleasanton, California-based provider of enterprise mortgage origination technology solutions, to create an integrated offering of the companies' flagship solutions.

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ISGN Adds Invoice Processing to Default Management System

ISGN Corporation has added a new Invoice Processing System (IPS) to its LenStar technology, a Web-based attorney and referral communication system for the default management market. The company says the new solution allows lenders and their attorneys and vendors to settle accounts payable and receivable quicker and with fewer errors than with manually toggling between accounting and invoicing systems.

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Homeownership Hits Lowest Mark in a Decade

With foreclosures still rising and potential homebuyers still reluctant to get into the market, homeownership in the United States has hit a 10-year low. According to the Census Bureau, the homeownership rate fell to 67.2 percent at the end of last year. Homeownership has been on a steady downward slope since 2006, when housing woes began to eat away at the government's long-time push to make the American Dream a reality for anyone that wanted it.

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House Committee to Investigate Obama’s Modification Program

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has launched an official investigation into the federal government's foreclosure prevention program. According to a statement from the head of the committee, the probe was triggered by complaints that servicers have been slow and inconsistent in modifying loans under the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program, and are not communicating clearly with eligible homeowners.

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Appraisal Management Firm Joins Ellie Mae Network

Service 1st Valuation and Settlement Services, Inc., a national appraisal management firm based in Pittsburgh, has joined the Ellie Mae Network, according to an announcement Monday. Connectivity to the network is integrated in Ellie Mae's Encompass360 management software, which is used by mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, community banks, credit unions, and national and regional lenders across the nation.

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TenantAccess Addresses Aftermath of Tenant Foreclosure Law

In an effort to help the industry cope with the aftermath of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTAFA), Austin, Texas-based TenantAccess offers a comprehensive, end-to-end solution called the Tenant Protection Response Program (TPRP) and is now providing tier 1 banks, servicers, and asset managers relief from the property and tenant management responsibilities they have acquired as a result of this legislature.

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