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Mortgage Applications Increase as Purchase Activity Soars

Following two consecutive weeks of decreased activity, mortgage application volume increased 1.3 percent for the week ending March 26, 2010, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday. The jump in application volume was the result of an overwhelming increase in purchase activity.

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Real Estate Confidence Index Rebounds in March

Although the real estate market still has a long way to go on the road to recovery, confidence in the market is increasing, according to the March 2010 Real Estate Confidence Index (RECI) survey released by Point2 Technologies, a Web-based inventory management and online marketing software developer.

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Fannie Mae and Lenders One Announce Contract Renewal

Fannie Mae has extended its contract with Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative as a preferred investor. The organization says continuing its preferred investor relationship with Fannie ensures that cooperative members selling to the GSE have access to more competitive pricing and technology than they would working with Fannie Mae independently.

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Countdown To Buy Platform Sees Success

Countdown To Buy, a next generation online real estate marketplace, announced Tuesday that it successfully generated accepted offers on foreclosed properties in 30 days or less. The properties were located in Dallas and were listed on the company's Web site on March 5, 2010. And before the month's end, offers have already been accepted.

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Florida Courts Petition for Nearly $10M to Clear Foreclosure Backlog

Florida has been aptly dubbed one of the nation's foreclosure hotspots, and its courts have a wall of foreclosure cases to back up that claim. The backlog has gotten so bad, that it's pushed the Florida State Courts Administration to ask legislators for $9.6 million to bring in additional case managers and judges to help clear the still-growing glut of case files. The state's court administrators estimate that there are currently 500,000 pending foreclosure cases. Local judges say ""the numbers are just overwhelming.""

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REDC Foreclosure Auctions Generate $47.4 Million in Sales

In an announcement Tuesday, Real Estate Disposition Corporation (REDC) said foreclosure sales for its lending and banking clients soared this past week in nationwide live and online auctions, which generated $47.4 million in sales on 625 foreclosed residential properties, commercial properties, and notes.

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Regulators Fret over CRE Concentrations, but Banks Looking to Modify

Federal regulators are warning that by the end of 2010, half of all commercial real estate mortgages will be underwater. Their biggest concern is that most of these souring loans are concentrated in mid-sized banks, making them especially vulnerable to failure. The Treasury secretary, though, says commercial real estate is a problem that can be managed, and news from the field supports his assumption, as lenders appear to be moving more aggressively to modify commercial mortgages and avert another default tsunami.

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HOPE NOW Servicers Assist More than 1,300 Troubled Homeowners

Various HOPE NOW servicers, including Bank of America, Chase, Citi, GMAC, Suntrust, Wells Fargo, and others, assisted more than 1,300 troubled borrowers during three homeownership preservation events held across the Pacific Northwest last week. According to HOPE NOW, 532 families attended the first of the three events, which was held in Portland, Oregon on March 23. And the two-day event in Bellevue, Washington on March 25 and March 26 saw an additional 796 homeowners.

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Fed’s Treasury Group Expands Scope to Mortgage Debt

The Treasury Market Practices Group (TMPG), an organization created by the New York Federal Reserve to advise on the trading of Treasury bonds, announced Tuesday that it is expanding its scope to include government agency debt - such as that from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - and agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). There is speculation that the organization's extended reach is in response to an increase in unresolved mortgage deals and secondary market trades.

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Caliber Funding Launches New Solution to Simplify RESPA Efforts

As part of an effort to provide technology solutions for RESPA challenges, Caliber Funding, LLC, a national wholesale and retail lender based in Tucson, Arizona, has launched an originator forms feature on its proprietary software system, H2Online. The new feature provides fully-completed, signature-ready documents with a single click, the company said.

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