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Treasury Releases New Details of Making Home Affordable

The U.S. Treasury announced details on Tuesday of new efforts to help bring relief to responsible homeowners under the Making Home Affordable Program. The new program components include an initiative that specifically addresses modifications on second lien mortgages and a set of measures intended to provide assistance to those borrowers who are underwater – meaning the value of their home is less than the outstanding balance owed on their mortgage.

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RealtyTrac Goes International

On Tuesday, RealtyTrac announced a strategic alliance with global real estate portal Enormo that will give Enormo’s international user base of potential homebuyers and investors unique access to RealtyTrac’s database of U.

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Report: Home Prices May Be Leveling Off

The spiraling decline in home values for the past too-many-months slowed in February, according to data released by Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday. While the prices of existing single family homes across the United States continued to slide, the downward trend didn’t gain any speed, offering a sliver of promise to the nation’s housing markets.

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NAR Wants HVCC Delayed

National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Charles McMillan is calling for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to delay the new Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), which is scheduled to take effect May 1, 2009.

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Moffett Returns to Freddie Mac as Finance Consultant

Following the apparent suicide of Freddie Mac’s acting CFO David Kellermann on Wednesday, the GSE’s former CEO David Moffett, who resigned from his post in March, has agreed to temporarily return to the company as a consultant to interim CEO John Koskinen.

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Treasury Hires Bailout Asset Managers

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced last week that it has selected three firms to manage its portfolio of assets issued by banks and other institutions participating in the Capital Purchase Program (CPP).

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BofA Launches Unified Mortgage Brand

Bank of America announced on Monday that it has combined its mortgage and home equity operations with Countrywide Home Loans under the umbrella of a single brand – Bank of America Home Loans. BofA said that just 10 months after acquiring the subprime lending leader, the Countrywide brand is now retired.

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Four Servicers Added to Government's Mod Program

The U.S. Treasury Department has released the names of four more servicers who have officially signed on to participate in the administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program. Joining the list of participants is Wilshire Credit Corporation, Pittsburgh’s Home Loan Services, Countrywide Home Loans, and Bank of America.

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Home Resales Down in March

Existing-home sales slipped in March, after exhibiting a hopeful rise the month prior, according to data released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The association did note however, that the market is starting to see a pick-up in activity from first-time buyers based on transactions even before the federal tax credit became available, which leads NAR to expect a prominent increase in sales from this market segment in the coming months.

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The Fate of the Nation's Banks

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report this week that estimates U.S. banks will lose another $550 billion in the value of their holdings over the next two years as a result of the financial crisis.

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