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RealtyTrac Partners with Social Networking Forum

Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties, recently announced a strategic partnership with Atlanta-based RealtyJoin, a new social networking site that allows real estate investors to connect with agents, brokers, and other real estate professionals.

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Fannie’s Losses Widen, Prompting Request for More Federal Funding

Fannie Mae says it needs another $15.3 billion bailout from the U.S. Treasury, after the GSE came up $16.3 billion in the red for the fourth quarter of 2009 and posted a loss of $74.4 billion for all of last year. Although the housing crisis is showing signs of lessening in some major markets, it continues to take its toll on the nation's largest mortgage financier. Fannie Mae's 2009 annual losses widened compared to the $59.8 billion deficit recorded for 2008, and its Q4 results marked the GSE's tenth consecutive quarterly shortfall.

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HUD Launches Online Tool to Fight Loan Modification Scams

Loan modification scams are on the rise, but HUD is taking action to put these con artists out of business. Preventloanscams.org was recently launched by the federal agency in partnership with a national coalition of public and private enterprises. The new system allows for better analysis of fraud trends across jurisdictional lines, which HUD says will likely lead to an increase in private enforcement action filings. Officials estimate that this online tool will assist approximately 50,000 homeowners who've been victimized by loan modification scams.

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Nevada, Washington Banks Closed by Regulators

Regulators shut the doors on Carson River Community Bank in Carson City, Nevada and Rainier Pacific Bank in Tacoma, Washington over the weekend. So far in 2010, 22 FDIC-insured institutions have landed on the agency's failed bank list. A separate FDIC list holds the names of banks the federal agency considers to be at-risk of failure. This ""problem list"" grew 27 percent from the third to fourth quarters of last year, to 702.

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National Quick Sale Partners With Two New Companies

With short sales gaining in popularity, it comes as no surprise that two companies recently announced strategic partnerships with National Quick Sale, a short sale technology company based in Jacksonville, Florida. The company's two newest partners are REA Accelerated Marketing Group and Epic Real Estate Solutions.

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HOPE NOW Expands HOPE LoanPort

As part of a coordinated plan to help as many homeowners as possible prevent foreclosure and stay in their homes, HOPE NOW, the industry-created alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, counselors, and other mortgage market participants, recently announced that it has expanded the HOPE LoanPort through its housing counselor partners in 25 states and more than 100 cities.

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NAR Releases Mixed Report on Existing Home Sales in January

Existing-home sales fell 7.2 percent from December to January but were still above year-ago levels, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Friday. NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun said the monthly decline was discouraging and raises concern about the strength of a recovery. NAR's analysis shows there are currently 3.27 million existing homes available for sale. At the current sales pace, this represents a 7.8-month supply of backlogged homes.

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Company Says Investors Earn High Returns Preventing Foreclosure

Moody's Investors Service projects the national rate of underwater homeowners could reach 50 percent by early 2011. Florida's All Statewide Property Corporation says it has found a solution to this dilemma by forming satellite limited partnerships to by bulk mortgages from lenders and reducing principal balances to current market values.

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Industry Voices Concern over New Securitization Rule

The FDIC has requested comments from the industry on a new regulation that would limit safe harbor protections for assets, including mortgages, which have been securitized by failed banks. FDIC officials say the rule would return some confidence to the tenuous secondary market, but industry trade groups argue that it could have a counter effect of creating ""substantial uncertainty"" for investors and stifle an important financing channel.

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Local Market Price Trajectories Provide Look Into FHA Profitability

According to a recent article written by Andrew Jakabovics, an associate director for housing and economics at the Center for American Progress, the Federal Housing Finance Administration's (FHFA) house price index (HPI) is a reminder that local markets behave differently over time, which strongly affects both lenders' and insurers' profitability, or lack thereof.

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