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Fed Purchases $33B in MBS

The New York Federal Reserve Bank purchased $33.15 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from government agencies this week. Total MBS purchases since the Fed program began in early January now stands at $270 billion.

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Mortgage Rates Set Another Record Low

Interest rates for both 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages (FRMs) hit another record low this week, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) released on Thursday by Freddie Mac. The GSE said that for the week ending March 26, 2009, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.

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Rhode Island Home Prices Drop 25 Percent

Home prices in Rhode Island plunged 25.8 percent in February from a year earlier, according to a report released Thursday by The Warren Group, a provider of real estate data for the New England area. February is the fourth consecutive month that prices have dropped by 20 percent or more, the company said.

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Court Halts Bogus Loan Mod Operations

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a U.S. district court has ordered two South New Jersey-based companies to stop falsely advertising that they are part of the mortgage assistance network, HOPE NOW Alliance, and that they successfully modify mortgages for almost all of their clients or else give refunds.

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Geithner Calls For Regulatory Overhaul

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testified before the House Financial Services Committee again on Thursday, pleading his case for an upheaval in financial regulation and expanded authority over a wider scope of financial institutions.

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Geithner, Bernanke Want Power to Seize Struggling Companies

The nation’s financial principals, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, to rally congressional support for expanded regulatory authority – authority that would allow them to seize control of struggling financial institutions that are deemed too big to fail.

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Weekly Mortgage Apps Up 32 Percent

According to last week’s mortgage applications survey, published today by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the number of applications for home loans jumped by nearly a third. The increase was spurred by a boost in refinance activity following the Federal Reserve’s announcement last week to more than double its purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) for the year, bringing the central bank’s total commitment to $1.

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North Texas Existing-Home Sales Spike 23 Percent

The Metro Tex Association of Realtors, DFWRealtors, reported a 23 percent increase in North Texas existing-home sales during the month of February compared to January of 2009. According to the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, in February, 5,126 houses were sold in Tarrant, Dallas, Denton, and Collin counties in North Texas.

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