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Biggest October News
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Conforming Loan Limits
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their regulator have issued updates on loan limits and fees.

Conforming loan limit calculations vary depending on which recently passed law they are based on.

Under H.R. 5140, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, jumbo-conforming loan limits are set at 125 percent of the local median home price, according to a bulletin today from the Federal Housing Finance Agency -- Fannie's and Freddie's regulator. The the maximum jumbo-conforming limit is 175 percent of the $417,000 national conforming limit -- or $729,750 in the continental U.S.

Lack of FHA Kills Ohio Firm
A once-booming mortgage company that specialized in subprime refinances has shut down. The Ohio-based company's demise appeared to be tied to its lack of government loan programs.

In February 2006, Coldstream Financial Services Inc. had 80 employees, including 60 loan officers, co-founder Nolan Marx told in an interview at the time. He noted that the mortgage broker recruited most of its new loan officers and other staff at college job fairs.

Just this year, Coldstream was still actively recruiting from colleges. In March, it participated in a career fair at the University of Cincinnati. A few months earlier, it was a recruiter at the Bowling Green State University Career Fair.

Coldstream closes

TARP Gives Hope to Mortgage Sector
Combined with a recent improvement in subprime performance, the $700 billion plan for the U.S. Treasury Department to buy up mortgage assets has the potential to significantly help the mortgage business.

As the secondary market for nonconforming loans froze up last August, both jumbo and Alternative-A lending became scarce. Today, Alt-A loans are virtually impossible to find and subprime programs have disappeared.

Appraisers Blame Countrywide for Lost Income
A group of appraisers has filed a class-action lawsuit against Countrywide Financial Corp. claiming the mortgage giant was responsible for damaging the business of thousands of appraisers.

Capitol West Appraisers filed the lawsuit today in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against the Calabasas, Calif.-based company, according to an announcement from the plaintiffs' law firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

Credit Crisis Spawns 243 Mortgage-Related Failures
Since the beginning of the credit crisis in 2006, 243 mortgage-related operations have collapsed or closed down.

So far this year, the number of failed entities is 74, according to the Mortgage Graveyard, which is maintained by

6 Lenders Lose FHA Approval
Branches of six mortgage companies have lost their approval to originate loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration. One of the terminated lenders operates a rapidly growing FHA lending subsidiary.

Countrywide Forecloses on Wrong Property
After mistakenly foreclosing on the wrong Nevada property and disposing of all the personal belongings, the homeowners sued Countrywide Home Loans and were awarded $3 million. But the state's Supreme Court has reduced that judgment by more than half.

Government to Invest in Banks
Some of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program will be used for the U.S. government to invest directly in U.S. banks. The rescue package also includes bank loan guarantees and provisions to stabilize the commercial paper market.

$250 billion of TARP funds targeted

CitiMortgage Reduces Broker Business
CitiMortgage is slashing the number of mortgage brokers it does business with -- leading to hundreds of layoffs. Business from a smaller and more productive group of brokers will ultimately be channeled through offices in Missouri and Texas.

Bailout Satire
Mortgage Lending has reached the pinnacle of pop culture. A skit on the latest Saturday Night Live provided a humorous but comprehensive overview of the mortgage crisis -- highlighting the roles of borrowers, Democrats and the former leaders of Golden West Financial Corp. The Sandler featured in this skit, however, was not Adam.

SNL does skit on bailout

Read the full text of these articles and many more at:


Sam Garcia
Mortgage Industry News

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