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Origination

HARP Means Savings, Less Debt for Homeowners: Freddie Mac

More homeowners continue to reap benefits from the newly modified Home Affordable Refinance Program, with 79 percent of homeowners with government-backed mortgages either keeping the same level of mortgage debt as before or reducing it over the first quarter. Of those homeowners, Freddie Mac found recently, 79 percent held onto the same level of debt for first-lien home mortgages, while 21 percent of homeowners shaved off dollars from their principal balance. The share of borrowers keeping their original loan amounts hovered at the highest level in the 26-year history of the survey.

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Platinum Data Focused on Risk Mitigation for Reverse Mortgages

California-based technology provider, Platinum Data Solutions, has announced a new reverse mortgage client partnership in San Diego. The company recently revealed that Plaza Home Mortgage Inc. has implemented Platinum's RealView platform, targeting quality appraisal review for reverse mortgages across the U.S.

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Obama Administration Pushes for New Refinance Expansions

The Obama administration made another push Friday to expand refinancing opportunities for homeowners, with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan behind the effort to adopt any one of three bills currently in Congress. Officials told reporters in a teleconference Friday that President Barack Obama would appear with a family in Nevada later that day to tout the need for a wider refinance net. The HUD secretary outlined three bills before Congress that seek to streamline the refinance application process and increase servicer competition by reducing barriers.

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CFPB Pursues Screening Standards for Mortgage Originators

CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled new rulemaking proposals Thursday that would require background checks for mortgage originators and complement a previous rule that prohibits loan officers from steering borrowers to higher-priced products. Together with these rules, others would provide consumers with discounts for paying mortgage origination points, mandate comparison plans for those interested in tracking different products, and ban brokerage firms from charging fees that vary by the loan size.

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Turmoil in Europe Drives Mortgage Rates to All-Time Lows

Jittery investors retreated to U.S. Treasury debt this week after upsets in French and Greek elections, a movement that yet again drove mortgage rates to all-time lows. Freddie Mac found Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage broke records by falling to 3.83 percent, down from 3.84 percent last week. Finance Web site Bankrate.com, which releases a survey at the same as Freddie each week, found similar results, with the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage hitting 3.2 percent and the jumbo 30-year loan falling to 4.54 percent, both new lows.

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HUD Reaches $202M Settlement With Deutsche Bank

HUD announced Thursday that it reached a $202 million settlement with Deutsche Bank and Mortgageit over allegations of misconduct and false certifications with a government lender program. The agency said that Mortgageit acknowledged and accepted responsibility for false certifications it submitted to HUD in order to gain from a direct lender program under the Federal Housing Administration. For its part, Deutsche Bank admitted wrongdoing by failing to account for Mortgageit's activities when personnel with the financial institution were in a place to know about them.

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Home Prices Rise for First Time Since March 2010: LPS

Home prices rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in February, the first increase since March last year, according to Lender Processing Services. The analytics and data provider said that several other indicators posted solid gains in February. Home prices averaged $195,000, the same as seen in June 2003. LPS also projected a 0.3 percent increase in national home prices on the whole come March. Of 26 metro areas surveyed by LPS and the Labor Department, only cities in California ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô observed price declines.

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Fannie Mae Fields Net Income, Evading Treasury Draw

Fannie Mae revealed that it produced $2.7 billion in net income for the first quarter this year, enough to prevent another draw from the Treasury, a first for the mortgage giant since it entered federal conservatorship in 2008. The favorable results offer a significant difference to a net loss of $6.5 billion from the same quarter last year, along with a net loss of $2.4 billion by the fourth quarter. Despite net income for the first quarter, Fannie Mae sustains a debt for more than $180 billion in taxpayer funds it has received with Freddie Mac since 2008.

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