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Long Liquidation Times Ramp Up Loss Severities Despite Rising Prices

While home prices have risen 14 percent nationally since their trough a few years ago, Fitch Ratings points out that loss severities on residential mortgage-backed securities have only 5 percent over the past year. The slow rate of improvement is primarily the result of prolonged liquidation timelines which hit an all-time high in the third quarter. Currently, 32 percent of seriously delinquent homeowners have not made a payment in more than four years.

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Lenders Incur Visible Risk from Hidden Borrower Debt

Over the past few years, lenders and underwriters revamped their standards to reduce risk, but Equifax says there's one challenge many lenders still have difficulty combating--undisclosed debt. In a recent white paper, the credit bureau published results of its research into undisclosed debt and its recommendation for how to deal with this difficult hazard. Ultimately, Equifax said, ""The results are somewhat surprising and disturbing.""

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More Homeowners Receiving Principal Reductions Under HAMP

As of September, more than 1.2 million homeowners have received a permanent modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Homeowners currently in permanent HAMP mods have been granted an estimated $12.1 billion in reduced principal, Treasury reports. In fact, officials say of all non-GSE loans eligible for principal reduction entering HAMP in September, 72 percent included a principal reduction feature.

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Delinquency Study Indicates Housing Is Nearing Pre-Crisis Norms

Delinquency and foreclosure data reveals the housing market is heading back to pre-crisis norms, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest National Delinquency Survey. The percentage of home loans in delinquency or foreclosure was 9.75 percent as of the third quarter, the lowest level in about five years, according to the trade group's report. Likewise, foreclosure starts, at just 0.6 percent, are approaching pre-crisis levels.

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MBA Names LPS Executive to Board of Directors

Bill Griffin, EVP at Lender Processing Services (LPS), has been elected to serve on the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) board of directors, the company announced. Griffin joins a number of new board members who will work together with the existing members to set MBA's strategic direction and oversee management of its initiatives.

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Freddie Mac Prices Second STACR Risk-Sharing Deal

Freddie Mac has priced a $630 million offering of Structured Agency Credit Risk (STACR) debt notes, marking the second STACR offering in which private sources--not taxpayers--take on the credit risk. According to a statement from the GSE, about 50 broadly-diversified investors participated in the offering for the debt notes, which are scheduled to settle November 12.

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Schneiderman & Sherman Names Litigation Managing Attorney

Schneiderman & Sherman, P.C., named Patricia Carey managing attorney for the firm's litigation group. As a litigation specialist for 18 years, Carey has taught trial skills to hundreds of law students and new attorneys both as a managing attorney and guest faculty member of the Committee on Regional Training.

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Fannie Mae’s Portfolio Continues to Shrink

Fannie Mae released its September book of business, revealing further declines as new acquisitions came to their lowest level in more than a year. The GSE's book of business totaled $3.163 trillion as of the end of September, shrinking at a compound annual rate of 1.3 percent. The company's single-family serious delinquency rate slipped to 2.55 percent.

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September Sees Drop in New Private Mortgage Insurance

Member firms of Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MICA) issued a combined 37,501 new mortgage insurance policies with a dollar volume of $9.6 billion in September. Private mortgage insurers' new business for the month represents a drop from the 46,051 new policies issued in August and tracks a drop in August application volume of more than 5,000.

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Borrowers Deemed Less Healthy in Q3 as Prices and LTVs Rise

Borrowers' financial health deteriorated in the third quarter after seeing marked improvement in the previous three-month period, according to recent findings released by the online exchange LendingTree. The company's measurement of borrower health is based on average loan-to-value (LTV) ratios and average credit scores, and with rising home prices, potential borrowers faced more financial pressure.

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