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Outstanding Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Debt Declines in Q4 ’09

Driven by drops in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and construction loans held by banks and thrifts, the level of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding in the fourth quarter of 2009 decreased on both a quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) analysis of the Federal Reserve Board Flow of Funds data.

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Foreclosure Starts Up Nearly 20% in California

Notice of defaults, which represent the start of the foreclosure process in California, increased by 19.7 percent in February, according to new data released this week by a locally-based company that tracks every foreclosure in the state. The sudden jump comes after four straight months of declines, when default notices fell to their lowest level in a year. The about-face has quickly quelled any ideas that California might be starting to make its way out of a crippling housing crisis.

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Mortgage Rates Barely Budge This Week

Mortgage rates for the week ending March 18, 2010 showed very little movement from last week, Freddie Mac and Bankrate reported Thursday. According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates for 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 4.96 percent with an average 0.7 point this week, nudging up from last week's average of 4.95 percent. Bankrate reported that rates for 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 5.07 percent, a slight drop from last week's average of 5.08 percent.

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Hotel Reservations: Fitch Expects Hotel CMBS Defaults to Hit 30%

Since the peak of 2008, hotel revenue has declined almost 20 percent. Fitch Ratings says it's the largest decline among the major commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) property types. Given the current capital restrictions, the agency predicts defaults on hotel loans held by CMBS investors will nearly double by 2012 - with delinquencies jumping from the current level of 16.6 percent to 30 percent.

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Equator Launches HAFA Software Solution

With the effective date of the administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) program just around the corner, lenders and servicers are preparing for an influx of short sale and deed-in-lieu requests. In an effort to provide industry professionals with the technology they will need to service the hundreds of thousands of loans estimated to be eligible for HAFA, Equator Financial Solutions, a Los Angeles-based software provider of default servicing solutions, is launching a HAFA software solution.

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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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