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Comptroller Warns of Over-Regulating Secondary Market

A key Treasury official is publicly speaking out against new rules that would require lenders to retain some of the risk on mortgages and other assets sold to investors. At the American Securitization Forum's annual convention this week, Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan urged policymakers to focus reform efforts on improving loan underwriting standards, rather than risk retention proposals that could hamper an already-tenuous securities industry and further diminish credit availability.

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Commercial Real Estate Woes Continue

Amid possible signs of stabilization within the commercial real estate market, many real estate executives say the road to recovery won't be easy. Concerns regarding the future of the commercial real estate market were reported by many industry insiders in the 1st quarter Sentiment Survey completed by the Real Estate Roundtable, which brings together leaders in the real estate industry to address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy.

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LAMCO Bolsters Disaster Recovery Plan for REOs

Lenders Asset Management Corporation (LAMCO), a nationwide REO management company, said Thursday that it has enhanced its disaster recovery plan, which details LAMCO's procedures for responding to emergency situations, such as natural disasters or accidents, that could potentially threaten service level agreements.

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Mortgage Rates Begin an Upward Climb

The four week streak of falling mortgage rates ended this week, according to surveys released Thursday by Freddie Mac and Bankrate. However, despite this slight increase, mortgage rates remain relatively stable and are notably lower than rates this time last year.

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Residential Mortgage Delinquency Rate Surpasses 10%: LPS

Home loan delinquency rates in the United States have now surpassed 10 percent, Lender Processing Services (LPS) reported this week. When you factor in homes already in the foreclosure process, the total rate of noncurrent mortgages sits at 13.3 percent, according to the company's national loan-level database. This rate indicates that more than 7.2 million mortgage loans are now behind on payments, LPS explained, with another one million properties already taken back by banks and in REO status.

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PNC to Repay $7.6B in Bailout Funds

PNC Financial Services Group said Tuesday that the company has reached an agreement with banking regulators and the U.S. Treasury to pay back the $7.6 billion it received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). To fund the repayment, the Pittsburgh-based company has priced a $3 billion offering of common stock and sold off its investment servicing business.

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New President, CEO to Join Cushman & Wakefield

Following the completion of his tenure as CEO of Centro Properties Group, Glenn Rufrano will join Cushman & Wakefield as president and CEO, according to an announcement Tuesday by the company. As Cushman & Wakefield President and CEO, Rufrano replaces Bruce Mosler, who became co-chairman of the board on January 1, 2010. He will be based in New York and will also be appointed to the company's board of directors on his March 22, 2010 start date.

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FICS Rewrites LoanStat Service

As the commercial real estate market continues to struggle, it is essential for both investors and borrowers to have tools to easily manage their loans. In response to this need, Dallas-based Financial Industry Computer Systems, Inc. (FICS), a commercial mortgage technology specialist that provides in-house commercial loan servicing software to the mortgage industry, said it has rewritten its LoanStat service to enhance investors' and borrowers' experiences when viewing real-time commercial loan information online.

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No New Loan Products or Interest Rate Initiatives for GSEs: FHFA

The federal supervisor charged with overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac says the two mortgage financiers will not be allowed to introduce new loan products into the market or take on additional responsibilities to lower interest rates once the Federal Reserve's mortgage purchase program expires next month. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has also told lawmakers that it plans to reduce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's mortgage portfolios, and the companies will not be ""substantial buyers or sellers of mortgages.""

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Mesa West Capital Expands Geographic Footprint to New York

In an effort to broaden its geographic diversity on a selective basis, Los Angeles-based Mesa West Capital has opened a new office in New York. The privately-held commercial real estate portfolio lender provides first-mortgage loans on office, industrial, retail, flagged hotels, and multifamily assets primarily in the Western United States, and says it has over $1 billion to deploy in 2010.

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