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Refi Boom Spurs Growth of Online Mortgage Software

With mortgage interest rates hitting historic lows, the refinance boom has put pressure on an industry that is already struggling from slashed jobs, plummeting real estate values, and fewer people buying new homes, forcing mortgage companies to do more with less.

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Bernanke: No Bank Nationalization

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dispelled rumors about nationalizing the U.S. banking system when he testified before congressional leaders on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Bernanke said nationalization of major financial institutions isn’t needed to ensure their viability, and could even erode their business value.

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Citi Wants More Federal Aid

After Citigroup’s stock tumbled last week – now trading below $3 share – bank executives have asked the federal government for additional assistance in strengthening the company. According to a Wall Street Journal:http://www.

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MDA Automates Portfolio Risk Analysis

Wilmington, Delaware-based MDA Lending Solutions has announced the launch of ARTAdvisor from MDA MindBox. The technology platform provides risk management, from early risk detection through loss mitigation, by automating the review, analysis, and management of any size mortgage portfolio.

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Refinancing Borrowers Shun ARMs

Ninety-seven percent of prime borrowers who originally had a conforming adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) chose a new conforming fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) when they refinanced in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to a report released today by Freddie Mac analyzing refinancings funded by the GSE.

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Fiserv Adds Third-Party Loans to Servicing Platform

Brookfield, Wisconsin-based Fiserv, Inc. has added management of indirect and third-party loans to its loan servicing platform. The company explained that this single-platform capability broadens the spectrum of loans to be processed and provides online, real-time back-office transactions for financial institutions’ diverse portfolios.

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eMASON Announces Fannie Upgrades to Clarifire

Clearwater, Florida-based eMASON, Inc. has announced key product upgrades to its Clarifire application that the company says will provide increased flexibility and expanded capabilities. Clarifire now features certified Fannie Mae loss mitigation business rules for HomeSaver Advance and pre-foreclosure sale workout types, as well as a direct connection to Fannie Mae’s system of record, Home Saver Solutions Network (HSSN).

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BofA CEO Subpoenaed by New York AG

Bank of America’s chairman and CEO, Kenneth Lewis, has been issued a subpoena by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. According to a CNN:http://www.cnn.com/CRIME/ report, Cuomo is investigating whether Bank of America, which completed its acquisition of Merrill Lynch on January 1st, violated state law by withholding information from investors.

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Lockhart Addresses Secondary Market Modifications

James B. Lockhart III, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) overseeing GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, recently spoke with members of the American Securitization Forum (ASF) about the role the secondary mortgage market must play in the nation’s housing recovery.

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ISGN Announces LenStar Enhancements

Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based ISGN Corporation, a global provider of mortgage solutions and technology products, has announced several new enhancements to its LenStar technology, a web-based attorney and referral communication system for the default management market.

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