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Senate Approves Safe Harbor, H4H Bill

The Senate passed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act by a 91 to 5 vote on Wednesday, after shooting down the bill’s bankruptcy cramdown amendment last week. The legislation provides mortgage servicers with a safe harbor from investor lawsuits, expands HUD’s Hope for Homeowners (H4H) program, increases funding for foreclosure prevention efforts, establishes foreclosure protections for renters, and increases the FDIC’s line of credit with the Treasury to $100 billion.

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Mortgage Rates Inch Upward

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday, which showed that mortgage interest rates rose this week for both long- and short- term home loan products. The GSE attributed the increase to recently issued reports which signaled optimism that the national economy may be starting to turn around.

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Fed: Banks Constrict Q1 Mortgage Lending

Banks continued to tighten lending standards during the first quarter of the year, according to the Federal Reserve’s senior loan officer survey published on Monday. The central bank’s first quarter lending review showed that 50 percent of U.

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NAR Reports a Rise in Pending Home Sales

The housing outlook, based on pending home sales, improved with many first-time buyers taking advantage of near record-high housing affordability conditions, according to the latest report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday.

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Ford Foundation Funds Foreclosure Buys

The Ford Foundation has committed $50 million to a new nonprofit venture to help municipalities purchase banks’ foreclosed homes. According to the Wall Street Journal, the investment is one of the largest made by a foundation to help alleviate the effects of the housing crisis.

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Report: Mortgage Industry Hirings Surge

Mortgage industry hirings skyrocketed during the first quarter of the year, according to figures published on PR Newswire Monday. The report showed that mortgage companies hired 8,877 people from January to March – a monumental increase from 925 industry new hires in the fourth quarter of last year and 1,199 in the first quarter of 2008.

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Connecticut Home Sales at Slowest Pace in 22 Years

Sales of single-family homes in Connecticut for the first quarter and for the month of March fell more than 20 percent from last year’s levels, according to a report released Monday by New England real estate researcher The Warren Group.

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