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Ginnie Mae Guarantees More than $38 Billion MBS in January

In an announcement Wednesday, the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) said it guaranteed more than $38.1 billion in mortgage-backed securities in January. The corporation also said the single-family loans in Ginnie Mae-guaranteed securities that were 90-days or more delinquent fell to 2.

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Wells Fargo Doubles Permanent HAMP Modifications

Wells Fargo & Co. announced Wednesday that as of January 31, 2010, it had 137,128 active trial and completed modifications in place under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Of these, 17,652 were permanent modifications--double the number of permanent modifications reported as of the end of December, and 7,554 were permanent modifications pending completion.

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Foreclosure Activity in California is Up Again as Stalemate Continues

With hundreds of thousands of California homeowners in foreclosure, a stalemate continues as only a small percentage reach the end of the process and the time to foreclose stretches. New data from locally-based ForecloureRadar shows that the time from notice of default to trustee sale in California has increased from 146 days in August 2008, to 229 days in January 2010, because lenders are increasingly delaying foreclosures to work through loan modifications and other foreclosure alternatives.

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Year-Over-Year Home Prices Exhibit ‘Improving Declines’

As the real estate market retreats further from the period of peak distress in home prices, declines are beginning to narrow, according to data released Thursday by First American CoreLogic. On a year-over-year basis, national home prices declined 3.7 percent in December--a notable improvement over November's 5.3 percent drop. According to First American's forecast, home price declines are expected to continue into the spring months, but close out the year with a modest gain.

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Retreat Capital’s New Offerings Address Short Sales and HAMP Hurdles

Retreat Capital Management Group has added a number of new solutions to its offerings that the company says will address servicers' largest obstacles in completing short sales and modifications under the federal government's foreclosure prevention programs, including short sale processing and document pick-up.

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Mortgage Rates Near Record Lows: Freddie Mac

Amid stabilization within the housing market, Freddie Mac reported Thursday that mortgage rates continued to inch down this week, hovering near record lows, with 30-year rates falling to 4.93 percent. ""Mortgage rates eased for the second week, while economic data releases suggest that the housing market may be in a slow state of recovery,"" said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac VP and chief economist.

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Foreclosure.com Awards Scholarships for Solutions to Foreclosure Crisis

More than 1,000 current and college-bound students nationwide answered the call during the 2009 Foreclosure.com scholarship program, submitting essays on ""How to Solve the Foreclosure Crisis."" The Florida-based company awarded a total of $9,000 in scholarships to five students for their innovative ideas on how to curb the distress in the housing market.

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TriNovus Introduces Solution for Bank Compliance With SAFE Act Regulations

The launch of StartSAFE, a comprehensive solution to aid banks in meeting the compliance requirements of the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act), was announced Wednesday by TriNovus, LLC, a Birmingham, Alabama-based company focused on delivering relevant technology solutions to the financial marketplace.

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GSEs’ Delinquency Buybacks Create Capital Need

The nation's two largest mortgage financiers have been stuck in the red for some time, and they regularly require cash draws from the Treasury to stay afloat. The GSEs' recent announcements to buy back some $200 billion in seriously delinquent loans from mortgage-backed securities holders over the next few months mean they'll have to come up with some extra cash fast. Analysts at Barclays Capital estimate that Freddie Mac will need to sell off $10 billion to $20 billion of its debt to fund the purchases, while Fannie Mae will need to raise about $60 billion.

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Suitors Line Up after General Growth Properties Rejects $10B Offer

The bankrupt commercial property developer and shopping mall manager General Growth Properties (GGP) has become a hot commodity, with firms lining up to get a piece of the Chicago-based company. On Tuesday, the nation's largest mall-operator, Simon Property Group, Inc. made public a $10 billion unsolicited bid to acquire the rival GGP - a deal that would have pulled the company out of bankruptcy. GGP quickly rejected the offer, and since, speculation has run rampant about other investment firms that may soon come knocking.

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