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December 2011 Archive

Biggest Mortgage News of 2011
Mortgage lawsuits, executive compensation and actions against government mortgage lenders were all subjects that were among Mortgage Daily's 10-biggest stories of 2011. The loan originator compensation rule was the topic of three of last year's blockbuster articles. But it was a story about top-selling loan originators that grabbed the most attention.

Mortgage Market Index Tumbles to Record Low
It was the lowest level of weekly activity since the U.S. Mortgage Market Index was launched. The Christmas holiday appeared to have the greatest impact on adjustable-rate inquiries.

Mortgage Market Index 131 for week ended Dec. 30

Mixed Month for M.I. Activity
Mortgage insurers wrote fewer monthly policies, but the dollar-volume was higher. Defaults, meanwhile, deteriorated.

Fannie Loans Outperform Market as New Business Jumps
Secondary activity at the Federal National Mortgage Association grew last month, and the agency is poised to exceed $0.6 trillion in annual activity. While some recent reports indicate that residential delinquency of similar severity has been on the rise, the rate of past-due payments at Fannie Mae has not increased in nearly two years.

Ohio a Mortgage Hub for Chase
One of the biggest mortgage operations at JPMorgan Chase & Co. is in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

Rates Rise But Could See Saw
The 30-year mortgage has fallen more than 90 basis points this year and rolls into 2012 near its lowest level on record, and it looks like the first week of the new year could see a further improvement.

M.I. Claims Disputed in Court
Mortgage lenders and other entities have gone to court to collect on hundreds of millions of dollars in denied mortgage insurance claims. Several cases involve Countrywide Home Loans, while Old Republic Insurance Co. is named as a defendant in two cases that saw recent activity. Two lenders are accused of earning improper premiums on mortgage insurance policies.

Hawaii, Capitol Region Command Highest Loan Amounts
While the average loan in President Barack Obama's home state is higher than any other state, the region he currently occupies includes two top-five titles.

G-Fee Increase Announced
The cost of obtaining a guarantee on residential mortgage-backed securities from the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. has been increased as a result of recently passed legislation.

Lenders Lose in Many Recent Foreclosure Decisions
Courts across the country have been busy ruling in favor of delinquent borrowers who are attempting to forestall foreclosure. But not all of the judges' decisions have been bad for mortgage servicers.

Anti-Flipping Waiver Extended
The government is continuing its support of the housing market recovery by continuing to allow investors to buy and sell foreclosed properties at a quick profit.

HSBC Fined for Robo-Signing
A New York judge has fined HSBC Bank USA for frivolous conduct in pursuing a foreclosure with faulty paperwork.

Former Mortgage Titan's House for Sale
The palace owned by the godfather of mortgage lending is on the market for millions.

Angelo Mozilo's California home listed for sale

CMBS Performance Improves
The rate of delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans was down 16 basis points last month thanks to a healthy improvement in the 90-day category. But the same report forecasts as much as a 100-basis-point increase in the delinquency rate next year.

Lenders Defend Title to Mortgages
Title to residential loans continues to be challenged by borrowers, judges and other lienholders. Most often, the challenge is a delay tactic by delinquent borrowers looking to forestall foreclosure. Frequently at the center of activity is the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc.

FHA Delinquency Higher for 5 Consecutive Months
The U.S. government has insured more than 1.0 million mortgages so far this year for $190 billion.

Federal Agencies Busy Pursuing Investor Litigation
Former executives and mortgage-related firms fighting a barrage of civil lawsuits are frequently up against the government as plaintiff. Some of the investor activity is being fought in criminal court, and one criminal action alleges that the board of directors and management of a Texas firm were hijacked by an organized crime family as the assets were looted.

United Guaranty Relaxes Reserve Requirements
United Guaranty Corp. has issued a bulletin indicating that the required reserves for refinance originations have been reduced. The change has a bigger impact on jumbo mortgages.

Holidays Dampen Demand, Rates Bounce off Bottom
As consumers focused their shopping on holiday gifts this week, fewer were out shopping for a mortgage. Government business was most impacted, while loan inquiries for purchase financing saw the smallest decline of any category. Mortgage rates are likely to escalate in the next report but still remain ridiculously low.

Mortgage Market Index 193 for week ended Dec. 23
Freddie's Delinquency Rises 3rd Consecutive Month
Residential delinquency of at least 90 days at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. climbed 3 basis points in November from October.

Washington Responsible for Financial Crisis
Two lawsuits filed last week by the Securities and Exchange Commission against former senior executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac put the spotlight on the government's role in the financial crisis, according to a newspaper editorial that puts the duo at the heart of the financial crisis.

Banker Portrayed as Real Life George Bailey
A banker has been portrayed in a television news show as a real-life George Bailey from the holiday film It's a Wonderful Life. His bank's use of loan modifications was highlighted in the show.

Record Low Rates Likely to Rise
Prospective borrowers got an early Christmas gift as mortgage rates fell to the lowest levels ever recorded this week. But Treasury market activity points to higher rates in the next set of reports.

Senator Calls for Criminal Probe of GSE Execs
After being sued last week by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the former chief executive officers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could face a criminal investigation if a U.S. senator has his way.

Chase Hiring Hundreds in Louisiana
JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to hire hundreds of new mortgage employees for two document management facilities in Louisiana.

Fannie Revises Requirements, Raises Fees to Sellers
Sellers approved by Fannie Mae are now subject to new requirements on condominiums, note endorsements and wrap-around mortgages. In addition, new applicants to become Fannie sellers will be subject to higher applications fees, as will low-producing and reactivated sellers.

LPS Hit With Robo Signing Class Action
A Nevada lawsuit filed this week against Lender Processing Services Inc. alleges that the foreclosure process used by the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company was tainted. In addition to voiding notices of default and suspending tainted foreclosures, the lawsuit seeks unspecified actual damages, punitive damages and attorney's fees. Class-action certification is sought for potentially thousands of borrowers who faced foreclosure.

Huge Settlement Over Countrywide Discrimination
Alleged lending discrimination at Countrywide Financial Corp. will cost Bank of America Corp. more than $300 million.

Some Signs of Improvement in Shadow Inventory
The inventory of distressed loans that are lurking in the shadows has diminished over the past year. Meanwhile, the number of months needed to sell all distressed properties improved over the past quarter.

Overall Delinquency Down Despite Uptick in Securitized 1sts
The latest delinquency report indicates that while performance on first mortgages included in private-label residential mortgage-backed securities has deteriorated, late payments all residential loans -- including agency, securitized and portfolio mortgages -- improved last month.

Subprime Servicers See Ratings Upgrades and Downgrades
Both Ocwen Financial Corp. and Specialized Loan Servicing LLC saw action taken on their respective subprime servicer ratings -- though one was upgraded while the other was downgraded.

CA v FNMA & FHMLC Challenges FHFA
The Federal Housing Finance Agency claims that states have no right to subpoena the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. But the state of California is challenging that notion in two lawsuits filed against the government-controlled enterprises.

Seconds Outperform First Mortgages
Past-due payments on first mortgages deteriorated for the third month in a row, and the rate could climb higher. But defaults on second mortgages fell.

Q4 Purchase Projection Pared, Refi Forecast Expanded
The good news is that the latest outlook for refinance originations during the current quarter has been increased. The bad news is that purchase production will be less than previously expected. The net effect is a better-than-expected finish for the year.

Mortgage Firm, Biggest Realtor Team Sued Over HELOCs
A lawsuit filed against a real estate team that has been ranked as the biggest in the country alleges that Maryland homebuyers were convinced to purchase another home before selling their current residences -- a scheme that allegedly generated more commissions in the process. Lawyers in the case seek class action certification.

WANTED: Mortgage Crooks
In two separate cases, one in Maryland and the other in Pennsylvania, homeowners were persuaded to utilize cashout refinances for investments that would pay off their loans early. But in both instances, the programs turned out to be a sham. Other cases involving mortgage-related crimes to see recent court activity involve several crooked bank executives, two former managers at CitiFinancial Inc. and a California hard-money lender. A number of defendants are accused of stealing from clients' accounts.

3 Republicans, 1 Dem Got VIP Loans from Countrywide
A letter sent to leaders of the House Ethics Committee outlines the findings from an investigation into Countrywide Financial Corp.'s VIP lending program.

Problems Ahead for 2007 CMBS, Industrial Properties
Securitized commercial real estate loans backed by industrial properties are showing deterioration as operating statistics continue to worsen. But the more immediate concern is the 2007 vintage of all CRE loans as a wave of maturing five-year balloons hits next year and little prospect is being held out for refinancing more than half of them.

Hundreds of Servicing Jobs Open in Texas
A job fair is being held this week in Texas to fill hundreds of open positions in mortgage servicing.

GSEs Have $2 Trillion in High-Risk Loan Exposure
An analysis of data disclosed in new lawsuits against former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac indicates that the two own high-risk loans estimated at $2 trillion -- far more than they originally disclosed to investors.

Mortgage Bankers Lift Outlook
It looks like home-loan lenders will finish the year stronger than expected and originate more during the first three months of next year than previously thought. The stronger performance is due to an increased outlook for refinance transactions -- as the forecast for home purchase financing was scaled back.

November Delinquency Deteriorates
A decline in the U.S. foreclosure rate was more than offset by a 22-basis-point jump in the rate of loans that were a month or more past due.

2011 Bank Failures On Track for 3-Year Low
After several consecutive weeks of no U.S. bank failures, regulators put an end to the streak. But this year will likely see fewer than a hundred bank failures -- the lowest level in three years. A wholesale lender has suspended new business and a reverse mortgage correspondent lender has restricted its purchases.

NV AG Accused of Improperly Using DC Law Firms
For the third time since last year, Nevada's attorney general is being accused of inappropriately using a Washington, D.C., law firm in actions against mortgage-related companies.

Holiday Season Slows Refis; Purchases Slump
New financing activity for home purchase transactions, which have dogged U.S. efforts at a housing market recovery, tumbled this past week despite declining mortgage rates. Refinances were also lower but were up nearly a third from the same week last year. Rates fell and have room to fall more.

Mortgage Market Index 220 for week ended Dec. 16
Freddie Revises Cashout, Appraisal Requirements
Guideline changes at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. favorably impact cashout refinances for borrowers who didn't use a mortgage to purchase the property. The secondary lender additionally updated its appraisal requirements.

SEC Sues Former GSE Executives
The executives who were at the helm of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the time the two secondary lenders collapsed have been named as defendants in a government lawsuit. The defendants, one who is the current chief executive of Fortress Investment Group LLC, are accused of hiding their exposure to higher-risk loans.

Florida Appeals Court Decision Called "Sea Change"
A decision by a Florida appeals court in a case involving a 2009 foreclosure case could force mortgage servicers to restart the foreclosure process on some loans depending on assignment dates. The decision was called a "sea change" in the way courts look at foreclosure cases.

Record Fixed Rates Might Fall Further
Fixed mortgage rates came in this week at the lowest levels ever recorded, and this week's Treasury market activity suggests they could set new records in the next set of reports.

Servicers Recognized for Foreclosure Prevention
Three mortgage servicers were recognized for their utilization of foreclosure alternatives during the third quarter and their ability to avoid foreclosures.

Mortgage Whistleblowers Courted by CFPB
The regulator of consumer financial products has created several channels for employees of financial services firms to provide tips about crooked operators while maintaining anonymity.

Completed Foreclosures Surpass 1 Million
Monthly foreclosure filings fell despite a jump in California activity. Mortgage servicers have completed foreclosures on more than 1 million U.S. properties so far this year.

224,394 foreclosure filings in November

IL Program Provides Down Payment Grants to Veterans
Current and former members of the military can receive grants of $10,000 for home purchases in Illinois through a new program.

Uniform Data Deadline Delayed
The implementation deadline for the Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset has been pushed back.

Online Originator Opens in Dallas
A company that claims to be one of the largest non-bank residential lenders in the country has opened an online origination operation in Dallas.

First-Half 2013 Production Forecast Slashed
The forecast for next year's refinance share has been trimmed, while the outlook for overall originations during the first half of 2013 has been slashed. Fundings during the first three months of next year are expected to tumble by more than $100 billion from the current quarter. Meanwhile, the estimated share of borrowers opting for an adjustable-rate mortgage has been raised.

M.I. Firms Push Forward Despite Adversities
The mortgage insurance industry has suffered through a tumultuous year -- with the loss of one insurer, the suspension of agency approval for another and warnings from a third mortgage insurance firm. But the sector continues to relax its guidelines and has thrown its support behind the federal effort to provide refinancing for negative-equity borrowers.

Congressman Defends Position Opposing Trade Groups
Housing trade groups oppose legislation that does not include a government role in legislation that reforms mortgage lending.

Video interview with Rep. Scott Garret

Former WaMu Execs Settle FDIC Lawsuit
Three of the top executives at the helm Washington Mutual Bank around the time it became the biggest bank failure in U.S. history have agreed to a settlement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Commercial Mortgage Executive Appointments
While residential mortgage executives have been changing companies by the dozen, recruitment in the commercial mortgage arena has been far more sedated. Much of the recent executive activity in commercial real estate has been limited to multifamily lending firms.

Senior Executives Recruited, Replaced
A host of senior executive changes at mortgage and servicing firms include the appointments of chief executives, presidents and chairmen. Some of the appointments were promotions, while several were recruited from other big players such as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. The closing of a correspondent lending business created an opportunity for a California lender to pick up two executives.

Best Practices for Expanding Mortgage Originations
Several resources are available to help mortgage loan originators increase their production. In addition, a number of practices can generate business to varying degrees. But some resources and strategies are more productive than others, and originators can spend much time sifting through them.

Appraisers Guaranty Values
A number of valuation firms are providing warranties for the values they come up with. The services are primarily being promoted by appraisal management companies looking to increase the value of their offerings.

Net Branch Matchmaker
A company operating from Georgia wants to become the eHarmony of net branching.

Settlement Calls for Expedited Modifications
When it was sued by the state of Ohio two years ago over the way it handled loan modification requests, American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. filed its own lawsuit against the state.

BofA, Bond Insurers Busy in Court
Bank of America Corp. continues to be a big target in litigation tied to residential mortgage-backed securities, while firms that insure mortgage bonds have been taking their gripes to court.

FHFA Sues City of Chicago
Soon after settling in to his job as Chicago mayor, former Obama administration chief of staff Rham Emanuel was praising his new city council for passing an ordinance that requires mortgage servicers to maintain vacant properties -- even before the foreclosure process has completed.

California Claims No. 1 Mortgage Fraud Ranking
Activity climbed on cases being prosecuted in California for mortgage fraud, leaving the state with more mortgage fraud than any other. New York also saw acceleration, while Florida's mortgage fraud index topped the list and Minnesota remained prominently perched among the five-worst locales. But as a whole, the country's case activity was slower.
Third Quarter 2011 Mortgage Fraud Index 1173

Real Estate Investors Fueled Bubble in Hard-Hit States
A new study found that real estate investors helped fuel the run-up to the frenzy that preceded collapsing prices in the hardest-hit housing markets. The share of investor loans in four states with the most damage surged over the seven years leading up to the reversal of fortune.

Refis Rise Again Despite Purchase Slump
Fewer homebuyers sought financing for a home purchase, and purchase demand was down more than a quarter from last year. But consumers out shopping for a refinance were more active for the second week in a row, helping to lift overall activity.

Mortgage Market Index 247 for week ended Dec. 9

Multifamily CMBS Delinquency Drop Offsets Rise in Office, Hotel
A monthly bump in delinquency on securitized hotel and office mortgages wasn't enough to break a four-month streak of improving performance on overall commercial mortgage-backed securities. Multifamily defaults fell 28 basis points, and retail delinquency tumbled 20 BPS.

Mixed Delinquency Data at Radian
Radian Group Inc. reported fewer defaults as of last month. But at the pace that its book of business is running off -- the rate of delinquency was likely 5 basis points higher.

30-Year Frozen Near 4%; Rates Might Retreat
The 30-year mortgage has stubbornly stayed within 2 basis points of 4 percent for six weeks now -- though that's not a bad place to be stuck. Although fixed rates were lower this week, they could be even lower in next week's report. Adjustable-rate mortgages, meanwhile, moved up.

Servicing Performance Deteriorates
A new report indicates that the average mortgage servicer saw its servicing portfolio sink 22 percent between June and September. The diminishing portfolios helped drive down the number of loans handled per servicing employee by more than a hundred. Net servicer earnings swung to a loss.

Productivity Picks Up as Profits Double
Quarterly production profits doubled as the average mortgage banker funded more loans with fewer employees and the average loan originator closed more loans. But both metrics deteriorated from a year prior.

Auditors Sued Over Financial Fraud at Failed Firm
The bankruptcy trustee in the case of Meridian Mortgage has filed a lawsuit against the failed firm's former auditor over its role in the Ponzi scheme being operated at the company.

Early Sign Delinquency Down in November
An early indication of monthly delinquency on residential loans had the past-due rate falling more than 60 basis points during November. The performance was even stronger compared to a year earlier.

Former Countrywide Exec Says Some Senior Execs Committed Crimes
A former executive vice president at Countrywide Financial Corp. was fired, she claims, before she had a chance to talk at a planned meeting with government regulators about mortgage fraud at the company and the senior executives who condoned it. She was recently awarded nearly $1 million.

Television interview with Eileen Foster

Obama Administration Warns Best HAMP Producer
The latest reading on the government-funded loan modification program was the worst ever. But JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s banking unit surged forward to become the top producer for the government. However, that didn't stop the Obama administration from withholding program incentive payments and threatening to permanently reduce incentives already owed to Chase.

Active modifications increase by 14,852 in October

Delinquency Down from Q2 on CMBS Loans, Bank CRE Loans
The rate of delinquency on commercial real estate loans that are owned by financial institutions has tumbled 65 basis points over the past year, while the rate on securitized CRE loans shot up 40 BPS during the same period. But compared to the previous quarter, late payments on commercial mortgages in both categories have improved.

After Q1 Peak, Delinquency Headed Lower
Late payments on home loans are expected climb this quarter and during the first three months of 2012 then fall for the rest of the year, according to a new forecast. At least three states are expected to see an improvement of at least 40 percent, while a dozen other states are headed higher.

Mortgage Firm's Owner Sued by Ex
American Equity Mortgage and its former front man, Ray Vinson, are well known to St. Louis residents. He claims in a new lawsuit that unsavory tactics were used in his divorce proceedings that would determine who got what share of the lender. It's a tale of lies and deceit.

Fla GOP Proposing Expedited Foreclosure Legislation
Legislation being proposed by state GOP lawmakers in Florida would enable mortgage servicers to cut down on the time it takes to complete a foreclosure and help clean out some of the state's excessive inventory. But the legislators also see a need for safeguards that protect borrowers from an abusive repossession process.

Repurchase Tally Exceeds $4 Billion at SunTrust
During the past six years, SunTrust Banks racked up more than $4 billion in repurchase demands.

Federal Agencies Reviewing Risk Retention Feedback
The feedback to a proposed risk-retention rule generated numerous comments that are being reviewed by several federal agencies.

Mass. AG Strikes Back at GMAC
Less than a week after GMAC Mortgage LLC responded to litigation filed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by backing out of the third-party originations in the state, Massachusetts' attorney general has retaliated with a request for a congressional investigation.

Calif., Nev. to Jointly Investigate Servicers
With the worst foreclosure rates in the country, a pair of states in the West have teamed up to pool their resources and speed up investigations of mortgage servicers.

$1 Billion Producer Claims Top St. Louis Spot
The firm that claims to be the biggest mortgage banker in the St. Louis area is looking at three consecutive years that it originated more than $1 billion.

Case That Sparked Robo-Signing Scandal Decided
The foreclosure case that led to uncovering the practice of robo-signing by the nation's servicers in foreclosure processing has been decided.

Wholesaler Launches Jumbo Product
A new jumbo product is being rolled out by a wholesale lender that claims to offer the only non-conforming product that can be closed within two weeks. The program is expected to result in higher originations for the wholesaler.

Another New Low for Wholesale HECM Lenders
After reaching the lowest level on record, the origination of federally insured reverse mortgages by wholesale lenders fell again. Even retail-originated business deteriorated.

3 More Notaries Indicted in LPS-Related Case
A case involving employees of Lender Processing Services Inc. has yielded criminal charges on three more defendants.

Republicans Vow to Block CFPB Nomination
Most Senate Republicans have vowed to block approval of President Obama's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. So Obama is hoping to convince two senators from Maine to break ranks with the GOP.

Another New Record for MTA
While most readers might be getting sick and tired of hearing about how the Monthly Treasury Average has set another record low, borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages tied to the index can't get enough.

New FHA Loan Limits Released
Recently enacted legislation impacted loan limits on mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Details about the new limits have been released.

Bankruptcy Filings Fall Again
Consumer bankruptcies were down for the fifth consecutive month and have tumbled from a year ago. Even payment-plan bankruptcies, which have increased twice during the past five months, were lower in November.

Ginnie to Cover Updates at Online Event
Issuers of mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association will have a chance to learn about program updates at an upcoming online event.

New York Probing Military Foreclosures
New York's attorney general is investigating whether 10 mortgage servicers have illegally foreclosed on the homes of active-duty members of the military.

Chase Continues Hiring Spree
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been recruiting mortgage employees at a brisk pace this year, with the latest round of recruiting happening in Illinois.

Patton Boggs Mortgage Group Jumps Ship
A core group of mortgage attorneys at Washington, D.C.-based Patton Boggs LLP have joined another firm based in the nation's capital. It's not the first such move for the lawyers, who see an opportunity to take advantage of the new organization's mortgage litigation practice.

Millions Could Join the Ranks of Those With Credit Scores
Millions of consumers who currently have no credit scores could become prospective mortgage borrowers as the credit bureaus start considering non-traditional files in their reports. But consumer groups worry that the changes will reveal delinquent payments that have thus far stayed under the radar.

Squatting Balloons in Texas County
A former insurance agent from Tennessee filed an affidavit in a county recorders office and claimed that she owned the vacant $2.7 million mansion listed on the document -- forcing Bank of America Corp. to stop marketing the real-estate-owned property until it could clear the claim. She is just one of a rash of squatters -- some who are convicted criminals -- that have recently come to Texas looking for a free home through adverse possession.

Mortgage Business Recovers From Holiday
Mortgage shopping activity mostly recovered from the holiday week, with adjustable-rate and government programs leading the way. While refinance business grew by more than half from last year, home-purchase financing has fallen.

Mortgage Market Index 231 for week ended Dec. 2

Third-Party Lender Exits Massachusetts
A series of recent actions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts seems to be sending a message to mortgage firms that they aren't welcome there, and at least one third-party lender is heeding the warning.

Mortgage Jobs Expand as U.S. Unemployment Improves
Growth in staffing at mortgage brokers overcame a small decline at mortgage bankers and pushed overall employment in the real estate finance sector higher. The bigger news, however, was the U.S. unemployment rate -- which sank to its lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years.

MetLife Emerges as Dominant Reverse Lender
Originators of government-insured reverse mortgages kept up the pace last month despite dwindling volume at Wells Fargo & Co.'s reverse lending unit. The biggest beneficiary of Wells Fargo's exit from the industry is MetLife Inc.'s reverse mortgage subsidiary -- which closed more than three times as many retail loans than the next-biggest originator.

Low Rates Might Rise
Fixed mortgage rates lingered near record lows, while adjustable rates set new records. But it looks like rates could be higher in next week's reports as the stock market enjoyed a major rally this week.

VA Changing Loan Limit Calculations
The way that limits are calculated on loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs is changing next year.

MA AG Sues Major Servicers Over Foreclosure Practices
The biggest mortgage servicers in the country, along with the Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc., have been named in a lawsuit filed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The companies are accused of using fraudulent documents in the foreclosure process, filing foreclosures without having title to the loans and skirting state recording requirements and fees by utilizing MERS. Also at issue is their handling of loan modifications.

CMBS Lates Tumble But Expected to Climb
Delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans sank and would have fallen even more if not for deterioration in mortgages secured by industrial properties. But the outlook is for an increase in the rate during the months ahead.

COFI Tumbles to Record Low
Borrowers whose adjustable-rate mortgages are tied to the Cost of Funds Index were recently treated to a nice surprise. Meanwhile, the index used on one-year ARMs drifted lower, while another ARM index based on the cost of funds paid by European banks has soared.

2011 Agency MBS Issuance Nears $1 Trillion
Aggregate issuance of mortgage-backed securities at the mortgage agencies increased last month despite a decline at one of the agencies. Total activity through the end of November nearly reached $1 trillion.

GSEs Suspend Foreclosure Evictions
In what is becoming a holiday tradition, evictions on foreclosed properties are being suspended by the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Independent Servicer Reviews ID Thousands of Potentially Illegal Foreclosures
The independent reviews of foreclosure practices at the nation's biggest mortgage servicers have identified thousands of potentially illegal foreclosures on members of the military.

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