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FDIC Closes Sales of Failed Banks’ Loans

The FDIC has completed sales of $2 billion in notes backed by real estate loans seized from two big bank failures - Corus Bank in Chicago and Franklin Bank in Houston, Texas. According to the FDIC, the structured note sales - the first from the agency since the early 1990s - will increase recoveries for the two bank closings and return substantial funds to the deposit insurance fund, which has taken repeated hits with the elevated number of bank failures over the past two years.

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Freddie Mac Offers Mortgage Assistance to Flood Victims

Freddie Mac said Wednesday that its full menu of mortgage relief options is being extended to families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the recent floods in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and West Virginia. Specifically, the mortgage giant is giving servicers the discretion to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months for borrowers with Freddie Mac-owned mortgages.

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Ginnie Mae Guarantees More Than $22 Billion in MBS in March

The Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) announced Tuesday that it guaranteed $22.7 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in March. Total single-family issuance for March was more than $22 billion. Ginnie Mae II single-family pools lead the way with nearly $14 billion in issuance, while Ginnie Mae I single-family pools totaled nearly $8 billion. In addition, Ginnie Mae's multifamily MBS issuance was nearly $828 million.

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FHLBank Pittsburgh Donates $500,000 to State HFA’s Foreclsoure Fight

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank Pittsburgh) recently announced that it is contributing $500,000 to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) to assist the agency in its foreclosure prevention efforts. This grant will allow PHFA to reach more homeowners under its Homeowners' Equity Recovery Opportunity (HERO) program, which aims to help borrowers not eligible for a traditional mortgage refinance product, due to credit issues or owing more on their home that its current appraised value.

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John Burns Report Card Gives Housing a Grade of D+

The latest market report card from John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBRC) puts housing very near the bottom of the class, with an overall grade of D+. Several factors played a role in the sub-par score. JBRC noted that two important stimulus programs have run their course - the Fed is done buying mortgages from the GSEs and elected officials have decided there will be no more tax credit extension. On top of that, recent loan mod revamps have cleared the way for servicers to increase their foreclosure activity, which will result in more distressed sales.

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Home Price Reduction Levels Drop 26 Percent Year-Over-Year

In a sign of stabilization in the U.S. real estate market, home price reductions levels in April 2010 plummeted 26 percent from the same month last year, San Francisco-based Trulia, Inc., reported Wednesday. According to the report, 20 percent of current home listings had been reduced at least once as of April 1, 2010, down from 27 percent in April 2009.

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PPIP Funds’ Toxic Asset Holdings Hit $10 Billion

Private equity investment funds, in collaboration with the U.S. Treasury, have relieved the market of $10 billion in souring real estate assets, purchased through the federal government's Legacy Securities Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP). About 88 percent of the portfolio holdings, or $8.8 billion, are non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). Twelve percent, or $1.2 billion, are commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). Of the RMBS assets, nearly half fall into the Alt-A loan category.

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Wells Fargo Reports First Quarter Net Income of $2.5 Billion

In the first quarter of 2010, Wells Fargo earned $2.5 billion, or $0.45 per common share, according to the San Francisco-based bank's earnings report released Wednesday. Wells Fargo said all business segments contributed to the strong earnings results. The bank specifically pointed to improvements in home retention efforts and credit quality, which it described as having ""turned the corner.""

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Inspector General Casts Shadow on New HAMP Programs

Neil Barofsky, TARP special inspector general, has been highly critical of the government's foreclosure prevention programs. On Tuesday, he put the administration's new initiatives to help unemployed and underwater homeowners under the microscope. Barofsky says several issues could impede program effectiveness, including the voluntary nature of principal write-downs, disparate appraisal requirements across subprograms, and the short timeframe given for unemployment forbearance.

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