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Home Price Declines Hit Record in Q4

Home prices in the United States posted record declines in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA’s) House Price Index (HPI). The agency’s purchase-only HPI, based on data from home sales, was 3.

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RealtyTrac Releases Foreclosure Widget

RealtyTrac, a national online marketplace for foreclosure properties based in Irvine, California, and Caspio, Inc., a provider of a Web-based point-and-click platform for creating Web applications, today announced the launch of a new foreclosure Web application that features historical foreclosure activity data by state or by county and a real-time nationwide search of properties in foreclosure.

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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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Wolters Kluwer Consultants Earn CRCM Designation

Minneapolis-based Wolters Kluwer Financial Services recently announced that two members of its compliance management services team have earned the prestigious Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) designation from the American Bankers Association’s (ABA’s) Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB).

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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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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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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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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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