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Doug Criscitello Sworn in as HUD CFO

On Tuesday, Doug Criscitello was sworn in as the CFO at HUD. To his new position, Criscitello brings specialized experience in forecasting government finances, modeling financial risk of credit programs, performing budgetary and legislative analysis, and helping public sector agencies implement state-of-the-art financial technologies and practices.

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Stewart Rolls Out RESPA-Compliant Rate Calculators

Stewart Title Co. and Stewart Title Guaranty Co. announced Wednesday the launch of new RESPA-compliant online rate calculators for lenders. The calculators are rolling out nationwide through Stewart Title offices and through Stewart Title Guaranty's network of agencies to help lenders ensure title fee estimates are accurate when providing homebuyers with rates under new disclosure rules.

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Mortgage Applications Fall Again: MBA

According to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), mortgage applications decreased during the week ending February 12, 2010, marking the second consecutive week of declines.

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Property Listing Company Expects Foreclosures to Double in 2010

Foreclosure experts at Heavy Hammer Inc. and its foreclosure listing site USHUD.com see a confluence of factors exacerbating an already devastated housing market in 2010, driven primarily by financial industry practices and changing government policies. They predict that the consequence will be a doubling of foreclosure rates this year.

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Mortgage Employment Increases by 8,321 Jobs in 2009

With more than 100,000 positions eliminated in the mortgage industry from 2006 through 2008, it is clear that employment within this sector was strongly impacted by the downturn in the economy. However, as the economy begins to show signs of stabilization, mortgage employment is following suit. In 2009, the industry netted 8,321 new jobs, with 2,800 coming in the fourth quarter alone.

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First Guaranty Mortgage Selects MRG for Document Preparation

MRG Document Technologies (MRG), a provider of mortgage document preparation and compliance technology to banks, credit unions, and other lenders nationwide, announced Tuesday that First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation (FGMC) has selected MRG for its document preparation services.

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S&P Estimates a Three-Year Overhang of Shadow Inventory

That looming shadow of housing inventory that's graced so many headlines lately has put the entire industry on edge. And that uneasiness was validated in a report published by Standard & Poor's Tuesday. The ratings agency said this hidden supply of REOs and pending foreclosures will likely take 33 months - or nearly three years - to clear if liquidation rates hold steady. What's even more unsettling is that S&P called its estimate ""conservative.""

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Econohomes Unveils REO Investor Web Site

In an effort to revolutionize the way investors buy REO property, Austin, Texas-based Econohomes, a nationwide direct seller of residential REO properties, has launched a new Web site. Built on a robust technology platform, Econohomes' Web site combines superior information on its extensive nationwide real estate inventory with the ability for investors to bundle and purchase groups of REO properties at significant discounts.

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BofA Quadruples Completed HAMP Modifications

More than 12,700 Bank of America customers now have a permanent loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to the bank's monthly report to the Department of the Treasury. Up from 3,200 completed modifications reported in December, Bank of America quadrupled its number of permanent HAMP modifications in just 30 days.

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Countrywide Sending $16.9M to Florida Homeowners

Sixteen months after Countrywide Financial settled one of the biggest predatory lending lawsuits in the nation's history, restitution is coming for distressed homeowners in Florida. More than 2,700 Countrywide borrowers in the Sunshine State are being sent foreclosure relief payments from the lender this week, totaling $16.9 million. Florida's Attorney General said the checks will make a ""significant difference"" for struggling families who are trying to save their homes.

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