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Stewart Provides Solutions for HAMP Supplemental Directives

The Treasury Department's supplemental directives for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) have placed increased requirements on lenders and servicers helping distressed borrowers. But Houston-based Stewart Lender Services (SLS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stewart Title Company, recently announced its ability to help national lenders and services comply with these directives in a timely, cost-effective manner.

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Equifax Study Finds Significance of Up-to-Date Owner-Occupancy Data

For many investors, owner-occupancy is considered to be a leading indicator of loan and deal performance and an important criterion for determining if loans are eligible for modification. But according to Equifax Capital Markets, owner-occupancy data reported at origination is typically out of date, and increased mortgage fraud among recent loan vintages has called this information into question.

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Five More States to Receive Federal Funding for Mortgage Programs

The administration announced Monday that it is expanding its initiative to provide funding for state housing finance agencies to develop their own localized mortgage assistance programs. A second round of funding, totaling $600 million, will go to five additional states: North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Last month, $1.5 billion in aid was allocated to be divided between California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Michigan.

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NewOak Capital Appoints Co-Chair of Investment Committee

NewOak Capital LLC recently announced the appointment of Donald H. Layton as senior advisor and co-chairman of its investment committee. Layton will take a lead role in developing the firm's private equity vehicle for bank recapitalization investments, assisting in the identification and full evaluation of investment opportunities, as well as providing ongoing advice regarding strategic and operational improvements for the banks in the firm's investment portfolio.

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Task Force Fights Back Against Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud remains a major problem in many U.S. cities, but the fight against it is growing. Last week, representatives of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force met in Phoenix for the second of a series of Mortgage Fraud Summits, marking an important step in the task force's collaborative effort to combat mortgage fraud and protect American homeowners. The U.S. attorney general has allocated nearly $8 million in federal funding for mortgage fraud enforcement.

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Four Banks Shuttered as Failed Tally Hits 41

State and federal regulators closed the doors on four more community banks over the weekend - in Florida, Arizona, and two in Georgia. This latest round of closures brings the number of names on the FDIC's failed bank list to 41 for the year, a pace that's well on the way to surpass the 140 bank collapses of 2009, which resulted in a loss of more than $36 billion for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

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DST and Select Portfolio Collaborate on REO Servicing Platform

Default Services Technologies (DST) has launched DispoSolutions 3.0, a new version of its Web-based REO servicing platform. The new technology was developed in collaboration with Select Portfolio Servicing (SPS), a division of Credit Suisse. According to DST, DispoSolutions 3.0 sets a new standard in automation and offers greater efficiency and flexibility to companies involved in the REO servicing process.

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Federal Report Shows Loan Performance Lagging, Even After Mods

Data released this week by federal regulators show that 14 percent of all mortgages were non-performing at the end of 2009 and more than half of the loans modified in the first quarter of 2009 were delinquent again by the end of the year. With the continued deterioration in loan performance, the regulators says lenders' have stepped up home retention actions, but the report notes that servicers expect a larger number of mortgages to slip into foreclosure in the coming months as prevention options are exhausted.

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FDIC Meets with Private Investors on Failed Bank Acquisitions

Senior officials of the FDIC held a roundtable discussion this week with members of the private equity sector to discuss acquisitions of failed banks and the role these investors can play in bringing additional capital to the nation's struggling banking industry. Participants in the open dialogue included fund managers, investment groups, and pension funds, as well as public interest organizations and banking trade groups.

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Real Estate Foreclosure Center Opens in Utah

Utah's first full-service real estate foreclosure center was opened this month in Taylorsville by RCI Realty, a real estate firm based in Cottonwood Heights. The new center has a team of experts trained in all fields to educate homeowners and investors about buying and selling foreclosed properties, and interested individuals have free access to attorneys who can guide them through the legal maze that often accompanies these processes.

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