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Lending Valuation Company Appoints Director of Client Relations

Santa Barbara, California-based Equi-Trax Asset Solutions, LP, a national collateral valuation provider offering a line of hybrid valuation products that bridges the gap between broker price opinions and full appraisals, recently promoted Danielle Drewisch to the position of director of client relations.

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Pro Teck Unveils Appraisal Order Portal for Wholesale Market

Pro Teck Valuation Services announced Tuesday the expansion of its service offerings with the introduction of a configurable appraisal order portal for wholesale and retail mortgage origination. The platform, already in use by top national mortgage wholesalers, is designed to meet both regulatory and investor appraisal requirements.

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Despite Low Interest Rates, Mortgage Applications Decrease

Following two consecutive weeks of growth, mortgage loan application volume fell 1.9 percent for the week ending March 12, 2010, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday. The slump in mortgage application volume was surprisingly accompanied by a week-to-week drop in interest rates.

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Treasury Report Shows Lending by TARP Recipients Remains Constricted

New loans made by the nine U.S. banks with the largest unsettled government bailouts declined 35 percent from December to January, according to federal data released this week. The Treasury's monthly lending survey of the top Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) recipients with funds outstanding shows that the nine banks in the upper echelon originated approximately $36 billion in new loans during the first month of this year - the smallest total since last October.

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NAR Supports Use of BPOs in HAFA Program

The allowance of broker price opinions in the administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program has created a major controversy. As DSNews.com previously reported, four appraisal organizations recently wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, voicing concerns over the use of BPOs for short sales under HAFA. In response to this opposition, Vicki Cox Golder, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), wrote her own letter, supporting HAFA and its allowance of BPOs.

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Wells Fargo Signs on to HAMP’s Second Lien Program

Wells Fargo said Wednesday that it has agreed to participate in the administration's Second Lien Modification Program (2MP). Wells is only the second major servicer to sign on to the junior lien component since it was introduced nearly a year ago. Under 2MP, when a borrower's first lien is modified under HAMP and the second lien servicer is a 2MP participant, that servicer must offer either to modify the second lien or to accept a lump sum payment from Treasury in exchange for fully extinguishing the second lien.

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HOPE NOW’s Non-HAMP Loan Mods Lead the Way

HOPE NOW says its members completed 99,499 proprietary loan modifications in January, almost double that of the 50,364 permanent mods finalized under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) industry-wide during the same month. Although HOPE NOW is seeing substantial success with non-HAMP modifications, the organization is also taking a lead in helping servicers collect borrowers' documents at its localized outreach events, in order to speed the process of converting trial HAMP mods to permanent status.

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Loan Resolution Corp. Adding 100 Employees to Meet HAFA Demand

Loan Resolution Corporation announced Tuesday that the company is adding 100 positions this month to meet the marketplace's growing demand for short sales - demand that is expected to intensify even further when the government's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program takes effect in April and short sales become a mandate in servicers' waterfall of loss mitigation options.

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Dodd’s Reform Bill Faces Criticism from Industry Groups

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd has introduced new reform legislation that would create a new independent agency to set the rules for mortgages and place tight restrictions on how large lenders conduct their business. Even though he lacks bipartisan support for the bill, Dodd says he's moving forward to reach a compromise that can be passed. But already, mortgage industry groups are voicing their concerns with the reform package - the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in particular.

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