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Regulators Seize Control of Five Community Banks

The number of regional bank closures has already begun to pick up speed. Regulators have shuttered five more community-based financial institutions - in Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. The FDIC is making moves that indicate it expects another year of elevated bank closings. The agency is opening a satellite office in suburban Chicago to help manage receiverships and liquidate assets from failed institutions in the Midwest, similar to offices it has already set up in California and Florida.

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Government Agency Sees Moderation in Reports of Mortgage Fraud

After six straight years of double-digit growth, lenders' reports of suspected mortgage fraud remained relatively flat during the first half of 2009, according to a new government report. The Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said depository institutions reported 32,926 cases of possible mortgage fraud in the first six months of last year - just a 1 percent increase over filings during the same period in 2008.

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Ohio’s Struggling Commercial Real Estate Market Provides Opportunities for Investors

Although the economy seems to be on the mend, the commercial real estate market is still facing an uphill battle. To provide information and insight into the challenges and opportunities of the commercial real estate industry in the state of Ohio, Smith Realty Partners recently released its annual Smith Report, and the firm conducted the Central Ohio Commercial Real Estate Survey as part of the report.

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FHA to Provide Early Relief to Struggling Homeowners

In an announcement Friday, HUD said homeowners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) who are experiencing financial hardship are now eligible for loss mitigation assistance before they fall behind on their mortgage payments. Previously, these homeowners were not eligible for such assistance until after they had missed payments.

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Pool of First-Time Homebuyers May Be Drying Up: Report

First-time homebuyers were the most visible segment of the home purchase market during a turbulent 2009, but new data released this week shows the market presence of this lucrative buying segment began to fall off as last year drew to a close. According to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Monthly Survey, first-time homebuyers accounted for 42.5 percent of home purchases in December.

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CHM Forecasts Growth in Demand for Hotel Asset Managers

Hotel asset managers are emerging as the new breed of experienced hotel receivers, according to Capital Hotel Management (CHM), a hotel asset management and investment advisory firm based in Beverly, Massachusetts. As the lending community looks for qualified receivers, the company said it expects to see an exponential leap in demand for hotel asset management services.

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Mortgage Investment Veterans Launch RMBS Data Company

A team of mortgage finance and investment management veterans have announced the official launch of a new company, BlackBox Logic LLC. BlackBoxprovides investors, broker/dealers, and researchers with a database of loan-level collateral underlying non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).

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State Regulators Say Federal Foreclosure Prevention Program Falls Short

Top officials from across the country warned policymakers in Washington this week that efforts to stem the housing crisis are falling short. According to a group of state banking regulators and attorneys general, six out of 10 seriously delinquent borrowers are not involved in loss mitigation efforts. Perhaps the most divisive proposal put forth by the group is that government programs should make principal reductions a priority in areas where home prices have plummeted.

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LAMCO Launches REO Services Scalability Initiative

In an effort to prepare for the mortgage industry's high volume of foreclosures that are expected to occur throughout 2010, Lenders Asset Management Corporation (LAMCO), a full-service default asset management company based in Littleton, Colorado, announced the development of its REO Services Scalability Initiative.

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