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Bank of America’s Principal Reduction Program Is Underway

Bank of America said Wednesday that its new mortgage program for certain underwater borrowers, which incorporates an earned principal forgiveness approach into the loan modification equation, has been implemented on schedule. The bank has already mailed out an initial round of letters notifying customers who may qualify. Upon review of these applications, the first trial offers for BofA's principal forgiveness program could find their way to distressed borrowers as early as the second half of June.

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Ginnie Mae Makes Key Changes to Ginnie II Multiple-Issuer Pools

In an announcement Tuesday, Ginnie Mae described specific details surrounding two important operational changes to Ginnie II multiple-issuer pools. The program changes are aimed at minimizing financial risk for warehouse lenders and making the program more efficient for all lenders, the association said in a statement.

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Interthinx Integrates Its Compliance Solution Into the Ellie Mae Network

Interthinx announced Tuesday that it has formed a working relationship with Ellie Mae that includes the integration of the Interthinx PredProtect Compliance Suite into the Ellie Mae Network. The company says this integration provides lenders with the ability to verify that their loans are in compliance with hundreds of federal and state anti-predatory lending requirements.

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Commercial Defaults Hit Record for Both Investors and Banks

The economic downturn has choked off demand for commercial space, with vacancy rates rising and new occupancy limited by the duress in today's job market. At the same time, commercial real estate (CRE) values have dropped more than 40 percent in some markets. Plagued with the same trip wires that have set off a barrage of residential mortgage delinquencies - unemployment and negative equity - the CRE market, too, is seeing default volumes soar to new heights, both on loans held by banks and those owned by securities investors.

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LenderLive Network Launches Comprehensive Short Sale Offering

In an effort to support mortgage servicers' need for a strategic, comprehensive short sale offering, LenderLive Network Inc., a Denver-based provider of business process outsourcing and technology to the financial industry, has expanded its loss mitigation initiative to include the launch of LenderLive Default Solutions. This new short sale offering is powered through two strategic partnerships: One with the technology-based real estate and loan disposition company ClearMarkets LLC, and another with Keller Williams Global Property Solutions LLC through its KW Commercial Division.

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Poll: 49% of Consumers Unable to Afford a Downpayment on a Home

Revealing a discouraging forecast for the U.S. housing market, a recent consumer poll found that 49 percent of respondents feel they will never be able to save enough money for a downpayment on a home. The poll, conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, found that of those remaining, just 12 percent feel they would have no trouble coming up with a 20 percent downpayment. With today's turbulent housing market, the problem of being unable to afford a downpayment is spreading.

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Pending Home Sales Surge for Third Consecutive Month

In a reflection of the broad impact of the homebuyer tax credit and favorable housing affordability conditions, April marked the third consecutive month that pending homes sales have risen, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Wednesday. NAR's pending sales index, which is based on contracts signed during the month, climbed 6 percent compared to March and soared 22.4 percent from April of last year, as buyers rushed to sign contracts before the April 30 deadline of the extended and expanded homebuyer tax credit.

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BofA Opens Homeowner Outreach Center in Nevada

Bank of America has opened the first of three outreach centers to serve Nevada mortgage customers who are seeking loan modifications or other foreclosure prevention assistance. The first outreach center is in Henderson. Openings of additional centers in Las Vegas and Reno are expected by the end of June. With the acquisition of Countrywide in 2008, Bank of America services about one in three mortgage loans in Nevada.

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Mortgage Application Volume Inches Up 0.9%

Following an 11.3 percent surge the week prior, overall mortgage loan application volume nudged up just 0.9 percent for the week ending May 28, 2010, as refinance applications began to level out and purchase applications continued to decline, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday. According to MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the purchase index fell 4.1 percent from one week earlier, while the refinance index jumped 2.4 percent.

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Former Fidelity Exec Kathy Ireland Joins Allonhill

Allonhill, an independent third-party review firm specializing in mortgage due diligence and credit risk management, has announced the hiring of former Fidelity executive Kathy Ireland as director of securitizations. Ireland, a 30-year veteran in banking and financial services, will manage Allonhill's core securitization solutions.

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