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Tag Archives: Loan Modification

MortgageDocs Announces New CEO

MortgageDocs, a national notary signing services company based in California, has named Christian Redmond as its new CEO. Prior to his appointment at MortgageDocs, Redmond was VP of business development at the Walz Group, a case management and document fulfillment firm that handles critical communications between the mortgage servicing community and borrowers such as default and foreclosure notifications as well as loss mitigation packages.

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Hearing Raises Foreclosure Settlement Concerns

As more details of the foreclosure settlement emerge, additional concerns and questions continue to be raised. During a hearing before a Senate committee, Debby Goldberg of the National Fair Housing Alliance addressed a handful of those concerns. One issue dealt with how the 13 servicers part of the settlement would receive credit for the $5.7 billion in mortgage assistance they agreed to provide. Goldberg says that unlike the national mortgage settlement (NMS), the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement ""bases the amount of credit the servicer receives on the unpaid balance of the loan, rather than the amount of assistance provided to the borrower.""

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Impact of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights on Foreclosures

The California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBR) is the main driving force behind the recent slowdown in foreclosure sales and short sales in the Golden State, according to a research report from Barclays. In addition to stalling the foreclosure process, provisions in the new bill, which took effect January 1, 2013, have also led to an increase in litigation risk for servicers, analyst at Barclays found. As a result of the HBR, Barclays believes ""servicers have become significantly more cautious when carrying out foreclosure sales"" in the state.

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HOPE NOW: Loan Mods, Foreclosure Starts Rise in February

The number of permanent mortgage modifications completed during the month of February rose 6 percent from January, according to the latest report from HOPE NOW. At the same time, foreclosure sales decreased and foreclosure starts increased, according to the industry group. More than 81,300 homeowners received permanent loan modifications in February, according to HOPE NOW. HOPE NOW also observed a 21 percent decrease in foreclosure sales in February. Foreclosure starts, on the other hand, increased 16 percent in February, rising to 193,860 for the month.

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LPS Reports a Spike in Loan Cures in February

Lender Processing Services (LPS) reported a spike in cure rates in February. About 500,000 loans were cured, or went from being delinquent to current, in February, with most of the cures reported on loans that were just one or two months past due, according to LPS' February Mortgage Monitor report. LPS also found an increase in modifications over the last two quarters after two years of decreases.

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Survey: Counselors Report Dual-Tracking Problems Still Persist

Banks are falling short of requirements to provide mortgage protections to homeowners as mandated by the national mortgage settlement and the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), according to a California Reinvestment Coalition survey of housing counselors in the state. In the survey, over 60 percent of the counselors reported that Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo still dual-track ""sometimes,"" ""often,"" or ""always"" even though the practice is banned in California. The survey was conducted in February and March 2013 and included responses from 84 counselors and lawyers who represent hundreds of thousands of homeowners.

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Administration: ‘Key’ Housing Indicators Improve, Recovery Still ‘Fragile’

The housing industry is making ""important progress across many key indicators,"" according to the Obama Administration's latest housing scorecard, but as usual, the administration continued to warn the ""overall recovery remains fragile."" In the March report, the administration highlighted data showing improvements in home prices. In conjunction with the scorecard, the administration also released its progress report on the Making Home Affordable Program.

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Fitch: High Rate of Unsuccessful Mods Threatens Asset Quality

Servicers continue to make strides in home retention efforts, completing more than 360,000 retention actions in the fourth quarter of 2012. However, Fitch Ratings detects continued weak asset quality trends, especially among loans modified from 2008 through 2010. In fact, Fitch's findings lead the agency to fortify its belief that troubled debt restructurings should be counted as nonperforming assets. ""[W]e regard the high delinquency and foreclosure rates for recently modified mortgages as reflective of still elevated residential mortgage asset quality problems,"" Fitch said.

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Performance Improves After Servicing Transfers Across Industry

Since the housing crisis, many large banks have sold off servicing portfolios to smaller, emerging companies. According to a recent study, these portfolios often begin to perform better after the transfers. Opera Solutions found faster liquidations and better long-term performance for modified loans after portfolios were sold. According to the study, two servicers stand out for acquiring the ""lion's share"" of servicing rights--Ocwen and Nationstar. At Ocwen, which acquired the most loans, the study detected higher levels of foreclosures and REO rates immediately following acquisitions. However, after a period of months, Ocwen's portfolios stabilized and improved.

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OCC: Mortgage Performance Improves in Q4

As of the end of December, 89.4 percent of mortgages were still current and performing, an increase from 88.6 percent in the third quarter and an improvement from 88 percent during the same quarter a year ago, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reported. Servicers also began a fewer number of foreclosures after initiating 156,773 new foreclosures in Q4, the the lowest number since Q1 2008, which is when the OCC began the report. In addition, servicers helped borrowers remain in their homes by implementing more home retention actions than home forfeiture actions.

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