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Bank of America Enhances Its Home Loan Guide

In an effort to further educate consumers about the home buying process, Calabasas, California-based Bank of America Home Loans has unveiled an enhanced online home loan guide that includes customized tools on budgeting, affordability, and choosing the right kind of loan. The enhanced site includes interactive tools and calculators, the ability to save worksheets and information for use at a later date, and a new local mortgage loan officer finder.

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Goldman Sachs Maintains Innocence as Criminal Probe Surfaces

The civil charges brought against investment bank Goldman Sachs for allegedly defrauding mortgage investors could turn criminal. Federal prosecutors with the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan are reportedly investigating the Wall Street fixture for possible criminal misconduct in dealings involving an investment vehicle and transactions related to subprime residential mortgages. Goldman Sachs and its executives continue to deny any wrongdoing.

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Borrowers Continue to Spend Minimal Time Researching Home Loans

Despite the wide-spread impact the mortgage meltdown has had on the U.S. economy, today's borrowers continue to spend very little time researching their home loan, a recent Zillow survey found. The survey of 2,729 adults, conducted on Zillow's behalf by Harris Interactive, found that borrowers are spending no more time researching a home loan today than they did in 2008.

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California to Implement Four Programs With Hardest Hit Funding

In a proposal submitted to the Treasury Department, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) detailed how it plans to use $699.1 million in federal aid made available through the administration's Hardest Hit Fund. According to the proposal, CalHFA will use the funds to implement four distinct programs, three designed to help California homeowners remain in their homes and one intended to help underwater homeowners transition out of their homes into more affordable housing.

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Obama Nominates Three to Fill Seats on Federal Reserve Board

President Obama submitted his choices for three new Federal Reserve governors to the U.S. Senate Thursday. The nominations include: Dr. Janet L. Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Dr. Peter Diamond, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and Sarah Bloom Raskin, commissioner of financial regulation for the state of Maryland.

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House Bill Would Allow Those Facing Foreclosure to Stay on as Renters

Two House Democrats have introduced a bill to create a ""right to rent"" for homeowners facing foreclosure. The bill would allow a family receiving a foreclosure notice to petition a judge to stay in their home as renters under a 5-year lease. The judge would appoint an independent appraiser to set fair market rental value, which would be allowed to rise with inflation.

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Residential Real Estate Market Continues to Improve in Massachusetts

March marked another month of stabilization for the residential real estate market in Massachusetts. According to a report released Thursday by The Warren Group, a provider of real estate data in New England, both sales and prices of single-family homes and condos in the Bay State surged in March compared to a year earlier.

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Improvements in Delinquencies Obscured by 7.39M Troubled Loans: LPS

""Mixed results"" has been the predominant theme among industry studies the last couple of weeks. The latest report from Lender Processing Services held true to form. The Florida-based company's analysis of the nation's home loan market indicates ""modest improvements"" in the number of nonperforming loans returning to current status and fewer new delinquencies. But the research firm says these steps forward are still overshadowed by a large pool of 7.39 million non-current and REO loans.

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RMBS Platform Expanded at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Securities announced Thursday that it has expanded its residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) platform to provide a full suite of advisory, structuring, research, distribution, and trading services to its residential origination and investing clients and to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (WFHM).

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Minorities Targeted for Risky Loans: Study

On Thursday, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) released findings of a new study indicating that subprime lending and subsequent resulting foreclosures contained a clear racial component not explained by objective underwriting criteria. According to the study, African American and Latino borrowers were more likely to receive a subprime loan and go into foreclosure than similarly situated white homeowners, controlling for credit risk and other borrower, neighborhood, and loan characteristics.

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