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Delinquencies Fall for the First Time in 12 Quarters: TransUnion

After steadily increasing for 12 consecutive quarters, the national mortgage loan delinquency rate--the ratio of borrowers 60 or more days past due--dipped down to 6.77 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to data released Monday by TransUnion. This statistic, which is traditionally seen as a precursor to foreclosure, reflects a 1.74 percent decline from the previous quarter's 6.89 percent average. TransUnion reported that delinquency rates in the first quarter continued to be the highest in Nevada and Florida, both above 14 percent.

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Four More Closures Bring Failed Bank Tally to 68

A new week, a new round of bank closings. Federal and state regulators have shut down four more community banks - in California, Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota. That pushes the failed bank tally for 2010 to 68. Together, the four seizures are expected to cost the FDIC an estimated $213. The largest failure of the weekend was 1st Pacific Bank of California, headquartered in San Diego.

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Managing Attorney of Foreclosure Appointed at the Fisher Law Group

The Fisher Law Group, PLLC, based in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, recently appointed Doreen Strothman as managing attorney of foreclosure. She has been with the Fisher Law Group since 2000, and her practice is concentrated in the areas of real estate, foreclosure, mortgage finance, bankruptcy, and litigation.

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Republicans Push for Consumer Protection Changes in Reform Bill

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) says he plans to offer up an amendment to the Wall Street reform bill this week that will make ""surgical"" changes to consumer protection laws. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) is joining Corker in his push. Among the items on their agenda are establishing minimum underwriting standards for mortgages, and striking the proposed 5 percent risk retention requirement for mortgages sold as securities.

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Loan Value Group’s RH Reward Offerings Top $86 Million

Just four months after its launch, the Responsible Homeowner Reward (RH Reward) program has offered more than $86 million in rewards to eligible borrowers nationwide as an incentive to remain current on their mortgage payments. As DSNews.com previously reported, the RH Reward program was developed by the Loan Value Group LLC (LVG), a Rumson, New Jersey-based company, in response to the increasing rate of strategic defaults, in which homeowners walk away when the value of their mortgage exceeds their house value - even if they can afford the monthly payments.

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Firm Says Increase in Software Purchases May Be Sign of Stabilization

What does it mean when more lenders are considering buying their lending software package outright rather than paying by the loan? Mortgage Builder, a loan origination software (LOS) provider in Southfield, Michigan, says it may be a sign that confidence is returning for those companies that survived the crisis and could even indicate the beginnings of market stabilization.

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Foreclosure Crisis Caused by Borrowers who ‘Overreached’: Study

The true cause of the foreclosure crisis is up for debate. Did banks prey on unwitting consumers, or did households overreach and borrow more than they could afford? Economists at the University of Arkansas recently completed a study to answer that very question. The study, The Foreclosure Crisis: Did Wall Street Practice Predatory Lending or Did Households Overreach?, found the latter to be true. Although, the researchers were careful not to excuse Wall Street banks, as they say reckless lending enabled households to become dangerously leveraged.

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U.S. Economy Adds 290,000 Jobs in April

Despite the fact that the economy added 290,000 jobs last month, the nation's unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in April. But the job gains were more than analysts were expecting and a positive for the housing market since unemployment has become one of the strongest default triggers for borrowers.

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Barclays Lowers REO Inventory Estimate

A recent study by Barclays Capital says that U.S. lenders are holding fewer foreclosed homes than previously assessed by the firm. Some are viewing the revised estimate as a testament to the stability that is taking hold in the housing market, but Barclays warns that the industry should expect REO inventories to grow - albeit gradually - over the next couple of years, as banks push more properties through the pipeline and foreclosure alternatives are exhausted. Barclays estimates that as of the end of February, 480,000 repossessed homes were held by U.S. lenders, mortgage investors, and the GSEs.

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Report Outlines Strategies for Responding to Housing Market Troubles

With foreclosures, housing vacancies, and mortgage fraud at all-time highs, it's no secret that the real estate sector is struggling. These intertwined problems are threatening the stability of entire neighborhoods, making the search for effective responses crucial. As part of this search, the Bureau of Justice Assistance brought together experts from around the country to examine possible solutions to these challenges, and on Friday released a report outlining the various strategies that were discussed.

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