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FHFA Proposes Rule on GSEs’ Requirements for Underserved Markets

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday that it has sent a proposed rule to the Federal Register implementing provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which establish a duty for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to serve very low-, low-, and moderate-income families in three specified underserved markets -- manufactured housing, affordable housing preservations, and rural markets.

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FHA’s Delinquency Rate Falls to 8.5%

It looks as though escalating past due mortgages may be a thing of the past for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The federal mortgage insurer's delinquency rate dropped again in April, marking the third straight month of declines. According to FHA's latest operations report, as of April 30, 527,504 mortgages had spent at least 90 days in a delinquent status, yielding a serious default rate of 8.5 percent. That's down from 8.8 percent in March and 9.2 percent in February.

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Regulators Close Down Five More Community Banks

Five financial institutions - three in Florida and one each in California and Nevada - found regulatory officials at their doors Friday evening, discharged to close down their operations. This latest round of seizures brings the total number of insured-bank failures for the year to 78, and will cost the FDIC $317 million.

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Kennedy Wilson and Fairfax Financial Team up to Invest $250M in CRE

International real estate investment and services company Kennedy Wilson has announced the planned formation of a new partnership with Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited to pursue acquisitions of commercial real estate assets, including purchases of loans and real property. The companies say they will focus their efforts on assets in California.

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HAMP Modifications Have Just a 50% Success Rate: Moody’s

The Treasury's most recent Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) report shows ""extremely low conversion rates,"" with success just a 50/50 gamble, according to Moody's Investors Service. As of the end of April, servicers had converted almost 300,000 permanent modifications. However, they had also canceled 277,640 trial mods. Moody's says this represents approximately a 50 percent success rate. The report also shows 3,744 permanent modifications have been canceled.

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Ocwen Buys HomEq Servicing for $1.3 Billion

Barclays said Friday that it has agreed to sell HomEq Servicing, its U.S. mortgage servicing business, to Ocwen. Ocwen will pay $1.3 billion ""in cash on completion,"" Barclays said. The transaction aligns the two companies with the highest modification conversion rates under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The Treasury's latest HAMP progress report puts both Ocwen and HomEq at the top of the servicer list, having converted 83 percent of their HAMP trials to permanent status.

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More than Half of Foreclosures Triggered by Job Loss: NeighborWorks

NeighborWorks America reports that 58 percent of homeowners who've received assistance through its foreclosure counseling program say the primary reason they are facing foreclosure is reduced or lost income. The nonprofit says it's time for mortgage servicers and investors to make meaningful accommodations for borrowers facing foreclosure -- or prepare for even more empty homes and devastated neighborhoods.

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Fannie Mae’s Delinquency Rate Falls for First Time in Three Years

The percentage of past due loans held by the nation's largest mortgage financier has fallen. In its monthly summary report just released, Fannie Mae said the serious delinquency rate on single-family mortgages in its portfolio dropped to 5.47 percent in March, down 12 basis points from 5.59 percent in February. It's the first time the GSE's serious delinquency rate has declined since March 2007, when it was a mere 0.62 percent.

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Loan Resolution Corp. Names VP of Foreclosure Alternatives

Scottsdale, Arizona-based Loan Resolution Corporation, a pre-foreclosure asset management firm, announced this week that Michelle Carothers has been named VP of foreclosure alternatives. Carothers will be responsible for driving Loan Resolution Corporation's performance related to the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program.

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