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Mortgage Bill Now Law
New legislation signed into law today improves the Hope for Homeowners Program, increases protections for servicers and makes it harder for bad actors to originate loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration. It also makes it easier to modify FHA loans.

President Barack Obama today signed S. 896, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"This law improves FHA's Hope for Homeowners Program, making it a more flexible and attractive option," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in the statement. "By reducing the cost of this program and easing the eligibility requirements, we believe Hope for Homeowners is better able to help struggling families."

National Wholesaler Closes
The national wholesale lending subsidiary of an 86-year-old bank has halted new business. The move is a blow to the 5,000 primarily small mortgage brokers that the unit served.

GB Mortgage says it caters to small brokers.

"Many brokers don't produce the huge numbers needed to get the attention of today's mega-wholesale lenders," a promotional message on its Web site says. "We know the small broker is the heart and soul of this industry."

American Home Execs Charged With Accounting Fraud
Former senior executives of failed American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. have been sued by the government over allegations they lied to investors and misled their auditor.

Michael Strauss and Stephen Hozie have been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with committing accounting fraud and making false and misleading disclosures, an announcement today said. A civil lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleges violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Government DPA
Borrowers will be able to use the first-time homebuyer tax credit toward their downpayments on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan revealed the news today in a speech to the National Association of Realtors in Washington, D.C., according to a copy of his prepared remarks.

Fannie Revises Credit Score Requirements
Fannie Mae has made changes to its requirements for using nontraditional credit scores.

One of the nontraditional sources used in developing a nontraditional credit report must be housing-related, the secondary lender said in Announcement 09-12 yesterday.

2 Casualties Rise From Dead
The mortgage casualty list increased by at least one last week. But the bad news was more than offset by the resurrection of two prior casualties.

HVCC Deadline Friday
Services that help lenders comply with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct -- which goes into effect Friday -- are available on an outsourced basis or as a software application. Some services focus on cutting expenses, while others preserve existing relationships with appraisers. In other appraisal activity, a hybrid service utilizes technology and local inspections to provide lower cost valuations.

1st Metropolitan Sale
As it closes branches, reduces headcount and battles litigation in three states, 1st Metropolitan Mortgage has agreed to be acquired by a Texas firm.

The Mod Wire
A big mortgage insurer is warning investors that federal modification programs could have a negative impact on its business. Federally regulated banks were instructed on how to report suspicious modification activity as six companies faced legal actions by two states. A Florida firm claims it is still seeing new business as competing modification firms are struggling to stay in business, and two more modification businesses have been launched.

HUD Cracks Down on Mortgagees
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development disclosed actions it has taken against dozens of approved mortgagees -- including civil money settlements and the permanent loss of Federal Housing Administration approval. A couple of big names were on the lists.

Read the full text of these articles and many more at: www.MortgageDaily.com


Sam Garcia
Mortgage Industry News

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