Articles by Paul Jackson

Refi Activity Hits Highest Level in Over Two Years

According to data released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), mortgage applications are on the rise again, with refinancing activity leading the way. The MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 8 showed that its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, is at its highest level since October 2005. The refinancing share of mortgage activity was reported at its highest level in more than two years.
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Fannie Mae Files Suit Against KPMG

Fannie Mae announced today that it has filed suit against KPMG LLP, the company's former outside auditor, for negligence and breach of contract in a complaint filed today with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Company executives were not available to comment further at press time.
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Report: November's Foreclosure Rate Highest of the Year

A new report shows that 120,334 properties nationwide entered some stage of foreclosure during the month of November, an increase of 4 percent from the previous month and an increase of 68 percent from November 2005. The report, released today by online property marketplace RealtyTrac, also shows a national foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure filing for every 961 U.S. households, the highest monthly foreclosure rate reported so far this year. "Defaults, auctions and bank repossessions all trended higher in November, bringing the year-to-date foreclosure total to almost 1.2 million -- up 43 percent from the same 11-month period of 2005," said James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.
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Rate Resets, Housing Struggles to Put More Strain on U.S. RMBS in 2007

Several years of low long-term rates and rapid home price appreciation have come to an end, and U.S. RMBS will encounter increased challenges next year as a result, according to a new report released today by Fitch Ratings. In its Global Structured Finance Outlook report for 2007, Fitch projects that 2006 vintage subprime mortgages will perform substantially worse in the coming year, with cumulative lifetime losses ultimately reaching 7 percent, the worst collateral losses of any vintage to date.
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Foreclosures Soaring in Florida, New York

While there are some signs of better days ahead, foreclosure filings in New York, Florida and much of the Midwest keep on climbing. With less than a month left in 2006, already the Empire State's 26,424 filings are up 13% over the 23,383 for all of 2005. Quarter to quarter filings are up almost 8%, too—7,449 fourth quarter to date vs. 6,904 in the third quarter, according to numbers from ForeclosureS.com, a California-based real estate investment advisory firm and publisher of foreclosure property information.
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GMAC Reshuffles Subservicing Executive Team

GMAC Mortgage, LLC, the nation's second largest subservicer, announced today a realignment of subservicing responsibilities within its Business Development division. As part of the new leadership, Ray Morris has been appointed vice president of sales and marketing, and Ty Miller will serve as vice president, client relationship management (CRM).
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MI Providers Hail Passage of New Tax Law

Today per Bloomberg, Congress has passed a new tax law which will make mortgage insurance deductible in 2007 for some: Premiums on private and government mortgage insurance will become tax deductible next year for some borrowers for the first time under legislation passed by the U.S. Congress. Bills which include the change were passed yesterday by the House and early today by the Senate. Borrowers who make less than $100,000 a year will be able to write off the full amount of their premiums. Homeowners making more than $110,000 won't be eligible.
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NAR: Existing-Home Sales in 2007 Expected to Recover

Existing-home sales are expected to rise gradually in 2007 from current levels, with annual totals comparable to 2006, while new-home sales will continue to slide, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said there are mixed conditions around the United States. "Roughly three-quarters of the country will experience a sluggish expansion in 2007, while other areas should continue to contract for at least part of the year," he said. "Most of the correction in home prices is behind us, but general gains in value next year will be modest by historical standards."
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GMAC-RFC, FNIS Announce Partnership

GMAC-RFC Insurance Claims Services and Fidelity National Information Services Inc.'s Field Services division have announced a new strategic alliance to jointly promote their services. By jointly promoting their respective services, both companies are seeking to offer a more complete solution to real estate servicers and investors, according to Ron Reitz, CPPA, vice president and director of GMAC-RFC Insurance Claims Services.
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