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REO

September Builder Confidence Falters

The Housing Market Index (HMI), a measure of builder confidence, stalled at 58 in September, unchanged from August’s downwardly revised reading, the National Association of Home Builders reported Tuesday. The August confidence reading had originally been 59. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the index to remain at that level. But a dip in one of the three index components--the outlook for new home sales six months out--pulled the reading down slightly.

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Foreclosure Litigation Declines in Q1, Activity Still High

Among all cases, those related to foreclosures were the most active, with 74 cases moving forward, according to first-quarter data from Mortgage Daily. However, that was still a drop from that category's peak. An accompanying white paper released by Ballard Spahr LLP suggests the decline in foreclosure-related cases has more to do with the drop in foreclosure filings during the period. Cases involving loan modifications also decreased as foreclosure filings normalized--though dissatisfaction still remains high.

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Fannie’s Streamlined Mod Option Helps 11K Borrowers Since July

More than 11,000 borrowers are currently in the midst of trial mortgage loan modifications through Fannie Mae's Streamlined Modification program, which officially rolled out at the start of July, and an additional 30,000 borrowers pre-qualified for the program, according to a blog post last week by Bill Cleary, VP of credit portfolio strategies. The new program allows any homeowner 90 or more days delinquent on their first-lien mortgage to receive a trial loan modification if the loan-to-value ratio is 80 percent or higher.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Fall to 7 1/2-Year Low

First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending September 7 plunged 31,000 to 292,000, the lowest level since March 2006, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected the number of claims to edge up to 330,000 from the 323,000 originally reported for the week ending August 31. The number of filings for that week was unchanged.

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Title365 Opens New Arizona Branches

Title365 Agency, a nationwide provider of title insurance and escrow services, is moving forward with its Arizona expansion with the opening of two new branch offices in Glendale and Scottsdale.

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Wingspan Gives Back with Two-Day Charity Event

Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, a Dallas-based diversified mortgage services provider, will sponsor in October a two-day charity golf tournament, exclusive VIP movie screening, and private concert event featuring five-time Grammy Award winner Wynonna Judd.

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