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Open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy. The opinions expressed here represent the author's alone.

Announcing Housing Wire Magazine

I’m very excited to let HW readers know that today we’re unveiling the next step for Housing Wire as a publication -- Housing Wire Magazine, the first independent monthly to cover all of mortgage finance. You can subscribe today for less than $10 an issue -- $149 gets you a subscription through the end of next year (regular subscription price is $180 per year).
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If it's not Lone Star, it's TPG.

HW broke the story last Friday that an affiliate of Lone Star Funds had snapped up Bear Stearns' residential origination platform -- the former ECC Capital wholesale/correspondent paltform, for those of you with an industry memory -- which is adding to the groups already large mortgage holdings. Lone Star alraedy owns former subprime giant Accredited Home Lenders, Inc.
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Countrywide wants up-front payments to discuss some loan mods? So what?

Last week's Investor's Business Daily painted a pretty rough picture of everyone's favorite industry whipping post Countrywide Financial Corp., after getting wind of a servicing policy that requires some delinquent borrowers to pay 30 percent of arrearages before the lender will begin discussing loan modification options -- fees that the reporter, Kathleen Doler, called "a steep entrance fee." From the story, an indictment:
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Investors and Insurers, Finding Fraud

Here in the BuzzPost, we've been sounding the horn over the prevalence of mortgage fraud in recent weeks -- witness an earlier discussion of Ambac's education on the matter -- and yesterday's Wall Street Journal picked up a strong, smelly scent. (You know, the same one that's already got insurers and investors up in arms?) From the WSJ, a mention of the obvious:
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Whither thou, credit crunch?

Wear-out isn't just a concept for media and advertising planners; it also describes the public's appetite for things like the word "subprime" and "credit crunch." And after the Fed's bailout of Bear Stearns -- a move that we still think was the right thing to do here at HW -- credit concerns eased somewhat, and investors started to breathe easier. Is the worst behind us? Really?
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Happy, shiny real estate news

Want to pretend the bad news is a figment of media creation? For those who want to keep their heads firmly planted in the sand, at least one broker information source isn't hiding its agenda -- it will only cover good news about the real estate market. The site,, was launched by a company that provides market data for brokers and agents nationwide.
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