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Wells Fargo Provides Over 400,000 Customers with Mortgage Payment Relief in 2009

In an effort to prevent foreclosures in communities across the country, Wells Fargo & Co. said it is continuing to use the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and other modifications to provide customers with mortgage payment relief. As a result, over 400,000 Wells Fargo loan customers received assistance through active trial and completed modifications in 2009.

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AmStar Prepares Florida Lawyers for Foreclosure Defense

Florida was hit hard by foreclosures in 2009, and a predicted increase in foreclosures in 2010 has prompted many attorneys to add foreclosure defense to their practices, according to Sarasota, Florida-based AmStar Litigation Support, a provider of continuing education and legal process outsourcing (LPO).

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Over 100 Foreclosed Homes to be Auctioned in Arizona and Nevada

The real estate market is swimming with foreclosures in states like Arizona and Nevada, and banks are aggressively discounting these properties at auctions to move them off the books. As a result, distressed properties are becoming some of the most sought after homes for buyers, according to Hudson & Marshall of Texas, Inc.(H&M), a foreclosure auction firm.

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Ambac Brings MBS Suit Against Credit Suisse

Ambac Assurance Corp., a business unit of bond insurer Ambac Financial Group Inc., has sued Credit Suisse Securities and its affiliate DLJ Mortgage Capital over mortgage-backed securities (MBS) Ambac insured in 2007. Ambac alleges the two investment companies hid information about the borrowers' ability to repay their loans, resulting in high default claims.

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Wall Street Considers Legal Action Against Obama’s Bank Tax

The banking industry may go as far as a court battle to challenge the constitutionality of President Obama's bailout tax. One of the financial industry's top lobbying groups, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), says the tax unfairly penalizes big banks. The organization has already hired a well-known Supreme Court litigator to study whether a tax on one industry to recoup government rescue dollars could be considered arbitrary and punitive.

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PMI Forecast Puts Long-Term Rates at 6% by Year-End

Mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed loans are projected to hit 6.00 percent by the end of 2010, according to the latest housing and mortgage market outlook from the PMI Group. Long-term interest rates have generally headed higher since the end of November, and PMI expects this trend to continue, with a notable increase coming in Q2 when the Federal Reserve withdraws from the secondary mortgage market.

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HUD Moves to Speed REO Sales

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has announced a temporary policy that will lift the 90-day waiting period to obtain Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance for the purchase of a foreclosed home. FHA research has shown that acquiring, rehabilitating, and reselling foreclosed properties often takes less than 90 days. The temporary waiver will allow FHA borrowers to purchase HUD-owned, bank-owned, or properties resold through private sales as soon as they hit the market.

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