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Former HUD Asst. Secretary Joins Ocwen

Subprime mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corporation announced Thursday that Steven B. Nesmith has joined the company as SVP and assistant general counsel for strategic and government initiatives. Nesmith was most recently a partner at Holland & Knight where he served in the affordable housing, financial services, and international trade practice areas.

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Government's Servicer List Grows to 27

The number of mortgage servicers under contract to perform government-sanctioned loan modifications as part of the administration’s Making Home Affordable program has expanded to 27. The nation’s largest lenders – JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, the Bank of America-Countrywide conglomerate, and GMAC – have agreed to provide mortgage modifications under the federal guidelines, as well as specialty subprime servicer Ocwen Financial and a host of other well-known mortgage companies, including several credit unions and a servicer out of Puerto Rico.

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Mortgage Rates Fall for Third Week

Long-term interest rates for home loans continue to drop, marking the third consecutive week they’ve declined. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s VP and chief economist, explained that fixed mortgage rates are now down about half a percentage point from early June levels, when they began heading upward.

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Nearly 2M Foreclosure Filings at Mid-Year

Nearly two million foreclosure filings were recorded during the first half of the year, according to the market research company RealtyTrac. One in every 84 homes in the United States has received at least one foreclosure filing, the company says.

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iEmergent Issues First-Time Buyer Forecast

The Des Moines, Iowa-based mortgage and real estate research firm iEmergent has updated its 2009 first-time homebuyer loan volume forecasts in light of the new federal tax credit. The company projects that home loans made to first-time buyers will tally 955,000 this year and generate $133 billion nationwide.

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FHFA Reports Mod, Foreclosure Numbers

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its latest Foreclosure Prevention Report on Wednesday, detailing actions taken by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to prevent foreclosures and keep people in their homes.

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MBA Survey: Refinance Apps Increase

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey Wednesday, which showed a resurge in refinances over new loan requests. After a lull last month, more homeowners are looking to lower their monthly payments by taking advantage of mortgage rates that have again started to fall to record-lows.

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IAS: Home Prices Up 1.6 Percent

Hinting at another small victory for the housing market, Denver-based Integrated Asset Services, LLC (IAS) has reported a gain in national home prices of 1.6 percent during the month of May. The company released its IAS360 House Price Index (HPI) Tuesday, which showed an increase in property values in all four U.

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