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Settlement Services

FHFA to Discuss the Benefits of HARP in Windy City


The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it is taking new steps to reach homeowners who could benefit from the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). FHFA Director Mel Watt will join housing experts and community leaders in a town hall-style meeting at the Woodson Regional Library in Chicago on July 8 to discuss the benefits of HARP and encourage the approximately 36,000 Chicago residents still eligible to participate in the program. These borrowers could save $2,000-$3,000 annually by refinancing their mortgage.Click to continue

Appraisals in Disaster Areas


Question: What documentation is required after the appraisal is completed and the subject property is located in a disaster area?

Answer ...
With hurricane season and wild fires in full swing, the question is common to all agency types of loans: FHA, VA, Conventional, and USDA. Such natural disasters include, but are not limited to, hurricanes, mud slides, rising waters/flooding, wild fires, tornadoes, et cetera.Click to continue

SunTrust Slammed With Half-Billion in Fines by Feds


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and attorneys general in 49 states and the District of Columbia filed a proposed federal court order requiring SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. to provide $500 million in loss-mitigation relief to underwater borrowers.Click to continue

Seven Million-Plus U.S. Homeowners Granted Loan Mods Through April

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HOPE NOW has released its April 2014 loan modification data, finding that 7.02 million American homeowners have received a loan modifications since the first data report was released in 2007. This total includes modifications completed under both proprietary programs and the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

Approximately 5.65 million homeowners have received proprietary loan modifications since 2007 and 1,364,674 homeowners have received HAMP modifications (Note: HAMP reporting began in 2009).Click to continue

Report Highlights Five Percent Monthly Decrease in Foreclosure Filings


RealtyTrac released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for May 2014, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 109,824 U.S. properties in May, a five percent decrease from the previous month and a 26 percent decrease from May 2013 to the lowest monthly level since December 2006. The report also shows one in every 1,199 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.Click to continue

More Than 300,000 Homes Make Return to Positive Equity in Q1


CoreLogic released new analysis showing more than 300,000 homes returned to positive equity in the first quarter of 2014, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity to more than 43 million. The CoreLogic analysis indicates that approximately 6.3 million homes, or 12.7 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, were still in negative equity as of Q1 2014 compared to 6.6 million homes, or 13.4 percent for Q4 2013.Click to continue

Transferring Appraisals: Helping Lenders and Brokers Understand How Standards and Rules Intersect


Although appraisers and lenders work closely together, the Appraisal Institute believes that there is still some confusion in the marketplace over when, if and how appraisals can be transferred.Click to continue

April Residential Property Sales Increase Four Percent Over Last Year

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RealtyTrac released its April 2014 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, which shows that U.S. residential properties, including single family homes, condominiums and townhomes, sold at an estimated annual pace of 5,213,793 in April, a decrease of less than one percent from March but an increase of four percent from April 2014.Click to continue

Foreclosures Decline Nearly 20 Percent Year-Over-Year in April


CoreLogic released its April National Foreclosure Report, which provides data on completed U.S. foreclosures and foreclosure inventory. According to CoreLogic, for the month of April 2014, there were 46,000 completed foreclosures nationally, down from 56,000 in April 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 18 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures were down slightly, by 0.4 percent, from the 47,000 reported in March 2014.Click to continue

HUD Announces $40 Million in Grants for Foreclosure Prevention Counseling

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The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) awarded more than $40 million in grants to hundreds of national, regional and local organizations to help families and individuals with their housing needs and to prevent future foreclosures. HUD’s housing counseling grants, and the additional funding they help to leverage, will assist more than 1.5 million households find housing, make more informed housing choices, or keep their current homes.Click to continue