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Regulators Close Seven Community Banks

Seven regional banks were shut down on Thursday – one in Texas and six in Illinois – bringing the number of failed banks in 2009 to 52. Barely half-way through the year, and that number is already more than double the 25 institutional failures in 2008.

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Supreme Court Allows States to Pursue Federally-Regulated Banks

In a ruling last week, the U.S. Supreme Court gave state prosecutors the power to investigate and sue national banks for violating fair-lending laws – a blow to federal regulators who say states’ attorneys general don’t have the authority to go after the institutions they oversee.

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Freddie Receives Additional Funding

The McLean, Virginia-based mortgage giant Freddie Mac was given another $6.1 billion by the Treasury Department last week to offset the GSE’s first quarter deficit, according to a recent securities filing by the company.

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Rubin Lublin Hires New Title Attorney

The Atlanta-based real estate default law firm of Rubin Lublin, LLC has announced the hiring of Erica Malcom. Malcom will join the firm as an associate attorney working within the title department. Managing Partner Glen Rubin, commented, Erica makes a strong addition to Rubin Lublin.

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Chase Releases Mortgage Mod Numbers

Chase Bank announced this week that it has approved 138,000 trial mortgage modifications for struggling homeowners since it began processing loan workouts through President Obama’s Making Home Affordable program on April 6.

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S&P Report: Home Price Declines Ease

According to Standard & Poor’s, a recent improvement in the rate of home price declines is a signal that the housing slump is nearing a bottom. The company’s home price index has been falling for the last three years.

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Builders Raise Own Appraisal Concerns

Appraisal practices have taken center stage lately with the roll out of the new Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) by the GSEs. And now, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has raised its own concerns over valuations of foreclosures, REOs, and short sales.

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Long-Term Rates Continue to Drop

Mortgage interest rates slipped lower again this week, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) released Thursday by Freddie Mac. Frank Nothaft, the GSE’s VP and chief economist, said that along with the recent moderation in home price declines, lower rates are providing a big boost to the nation’s ailing housing market.

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