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California Department of Real Estate Issues Short Sale Consumer Alert

Short sales are being touted by some as the ""go-to"" alternative to foreclosure, but that doesn't mean there aren't risks involved in completing these transactions. In order to warn consumers and real estate agents about the potential perils and pitfalls of short sales, the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) has issued a consumer alert, Jeff Davi, DRE commissioner, announced Thursday.

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Fannie Forms New Partnership to Help Distressed Florida Homeowners

Fannie Mae announced Thursday that it has entered into a new partnership with the Orlando agency of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Florida and the Florida Gulf Coast (CCCS) in order to accelerate response time and provide financial counseling to struggling Florida homeowners whose mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae and serviced by SunTrust. Under this partnership, CCCS will initiate a grassroots mail and telephone campaign focusing on eligible homeowners who are delinquent in their mortgage payments.

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Mortgage Rates Come Out of Holding Pattern, Dip to 6-Week Low

After holding steady for two weeks straight, mortgage rates fell to their lowest level in a month and a half this week, both Bankrate and Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Bankrate's market analysis shows that the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has dropped to 5.12 percent. A separate study by Freddie Mac puts the 30-year rate at a flat 5 percent. Rates on 15-year mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also headed lower.

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Quarterly Drop in Home Prices Doesn’t Budge 5.1% Annual Gain

Home prices across the United States continue to slide in the quarterly context, but industry data released Thursday indicates that when you widen the scope, year-over-year numbers are still showing a healthy bounce-back from the depressed levels recorded in 2009. Add to that the fact that REOs are coming to market at a much slower pace, and analysts at Clear Capital say it just might mean the rapid deterioration in the housing market will have a shorter lifespan than originally feared.

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Freddie Mac Posts $6.7 Billion Loss in Q1

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Wednesday that it lost $6.7 billion during the first three months of this year. The quarterly results helped pushed the GSE's net worth to negative $10.5 billion at the end of March, compared to a positive net worth of $4.4 billion at the end of last year. With the GSE's finances severely in the red, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) plans to submit a request to the Treasury Department on Freddie Mac's behalf for a draw of $10.6 billion in taxpayer funds.

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Connecticut Home, Condo Sales Skyrocket in March

The housing market in Connecticut seems to be on the road to recovery. According to a report released Tuesday by the Warren Group, a Boston-based provider of real estate data in New England, sales of single-family homes and condos in Connecticut soared by double-digits in March. On a year-over-year basis, single-family home sales jumped 37 percent, and statewide condo sales surged 34.4 percent.

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Chase to Host Foreclosure-Prevention Events in Eight Major Markets

As part of its ongoing efforts to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, Chase announced Wednesday that it will host multi-day homeowner assistance events exclusively for struggling Chase homeowners in eight major markets across the United States. These events will take place over the next five months, during which up to 40 Chase counselors will work with homeowners for up to 12 hours a day for four or five days in a central location, such as a civic center or community college.

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ABA’s Community Bank Mortgage Partners With SunTrust Mortgage

Community Bank Mortgage LLC, a subsidiary of Washington, D.C.-based American Bankers Association (ABA), announced Wednesday that it has selected Richmond, Virginia-based SunTrust Mortgage, Inc., as one of three preferred secondary market investors. As a result of this selection, owner banks of Community Bank Mortgage can sell loans on a servicing-released basis to SunTrust Mortgage and can access the company's full line of products, including jumbo loans.

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Credit Still Tight Among U.S. Lenders: Fed Survey

Banks have yet to loosen their tight grip on credit. The Federal Reserve's latest survey of senior loan officers found that most banks maintained stringent lending standards in the first quarter, while some tightened lending terms further. Compared with the previous quarter, a larger percentage of banks indicated that demand for first lien mortgages and home equity loans had weakened further. On the commercial side, a significant portion of lenders said they have increased their use of extensions for loans at or near maturity.

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Mortgage Assistance Provided to Troubled New York Homeowners

In an effort to assist struggling homeowners with their mortgages, HOPE NOW, the administration's Making Home Affordable Program, and NeighborWorks America co-sponsored a three-day homeownership preservation event last week in Uniondale, New York. The event had representatives from 16 mortgage servicers and more than a dozen local HUD-approved housing counselors on hand to provide assistance to the 2,353 at-risk borrowers in attendance.

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