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Ally CEO: We ‘Screwed Up’ and We’re ‘Embarrassed’ over Robo-Signers

Ally Financial's GMAC Mortgage subsidiary was the first major servicer to announce a foreclosure freeze after finding problems in its procedures that led to errors in legal affidavits. In the words of Ally's own CEO, ""We had a robo-signer affidavit problem. We're embarrassed about it and we fixed it. We'll be the first to say we screwed up."" The company reported a $269 million profit for the third quarter on Wednesday, and said it's decided not to sell its ResCap mortgage unit.

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Freddie Mac Requests $100M in Taxpayer Support after Q3 Loss

Freddie Mac said Wednesday that it lost $2.5 billion during the third quarter of this year. Add to that the $1.6 billion dividend payment the GSE had to make to Treasury on stock the company relinquished in exchange for bailout money, and Freddie Mac reported a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $4.1 billion. The company is asking Treasury for a draw of $100 million in taxpayer dollars. Since Freddie Mac was placed under government control, it has needed $64.2 billion to stay afloat.

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LPS Report Shows Foreclosure Timelines Continue to Stretch

Market data collected by Lender Processing Services (LPS) during the month of September reveals that foreclosure timelines continue to increase, with borrowers in the latest stages of foreclosure languishing without having made a mortgage payment for up to 16 months. LPS notes that the average time a loan remains delinquent in judicial states such as New York and Florida now exceeds 500 days. Nationwide, more than 4.3 million loans are currently 90 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure, according to LPS.

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Pending Sales of Government-Owned REOs May Experience Delays

Buyers of REO homes owned by HUD may have their closing dates pushed back after this Friday, but the federal agency says any delays will be brief. Rumors have circulated from various corners of the industry that HUD is planning a moratorium on REO sales expected to close after the end of this week, but a spokesperson for the government agency stressed to DSNews.com, ""HUD is not suspending sales of HUD REO properties on November 5th or any other time. HUD's new asset managers will continue to list and sell HUD homes.""

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Homeownership Rate in U.S. Holds at 11-Year Low

The nation's homeownership rate held steady at 66.9 percent during the third quarter. With foreclosures still mounting, bank repossessions at an all-time high, and many consumers abandoning the idea of the ""American Dream,"" homeownership is at its lowest mark since the end of 1999. Renting is not only gaining ground as the most practical means of housing for a larger number of consumers, but some say it could be the answer to keeping millions of struggling borrowers in their homes and stabilizing foreclosure-ridden communities.

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Fitch Says 7M Homes in the Shadows Will Take 40 Months to Clear

Fitch Ratings puts the industry's shadow inventory - meaning loans that are seriously delinquent, in foreclosure, or REO - at 7 million homes. The agency says based on recent liquidation trends, it will take more than 40 months to clear this distressed inventory. While the volume of newly delinquent mortgages has begun to improve, liquidation rates have been constrained by weak demand and initiatives to modify loans. On top of that, Fitch says the recent discovery of defects in the foreclosure process is prolonging the housing correction.

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NCCI Expands Services to Property Inspection, Occupancy Verification

National Creditors Connection, Inc., a provider of field contact, loss mitigation, and onsite inspection services, has developed a nationwide property inspection/occupancy verification service to provide servicers with a snapshot of property condition and occupancy of a loan in foreclosure. The company says this service accommodates industry standard requirements set forth by the GSEs and will help servicers determine the best resolution for troubled loans.

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Capital Economics Warns of Another Dip Ahead

The analysts at Capital Economics say that dreaded double-dip is already underway, in both housing activity and residential property prices. The research firm is forecasting home prices in the United States to steadily decline over the next 12 months and have fallen back by over 5 percent by the end of next year, taking them to a new cycle low. The company's analysts say there are currently about 1.5 million too many homes up for sale, and that excess supply will likely grow by another 4.9 million due to elevated foreclosure activity.

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Title Insurers Forego Guarantees on Foreclosure Paperwork Accuracy

Title insurers are voicing their confidence in mortgage servicers' ability to correct foreclosure paperwork problems. They've decided not to require banks to consent to agreements vouching for the validity of foreclosures, after talks between the two groups reportedly fell through surrounding large-scale indemnity arrangements. A blanket indemnity agreement to cover insurers against ""robo-signed"" foreclosures had been drafted, but title insurers say banks' actions to remediate deficiencies make it unnecessary.

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Wells Fargo Owns Up to Finding Errors in 55,000 Foreclosure Affidavits

For weeks, Wells Fargo has insisted that it's not a part of the robo-signing debacle, but that changed with an announcement late Wednesday that it will submit new affidavits for approximately 55,000 pending foreclosures in 23 judicial states. Wells Fargo says it has identified instances where employees did not adhere to legal procedures in conducting final reviews and did not execute notarizations properly. The bank reaffirmed that it does not plan to institute a moratorium on foreclosure sales.

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