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Inside Washington (06/10/2011)
* WASHINGTON (6/13/11)—One credit union was among those to receive a total of nearly $10 million in matching grants for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics in the 2011 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) grant cycle. El Paso Credit Union HOAP, Inc. received a $40,000 grant, according to an IRS release. Through the LITC program, the IRS awards matching grants of up to $100,000 a year to qualifying organizations. For the 2011 grant cycle, the IRS awarded LITC grants to 165 organizations … * WASHINGTON (6/13/11)--The Treasury Department announced Thursday it will deny foreclosure-prevention program incentive payments to mortgage servicers that are not modifying loans according to the administration's guidelines. Treasury has begun to withhold incentive payments from Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase until they improve their performance in the Making Home Affordable Program (American Banker June 10). The program aims to reduce monthly mortgage payments for struggling borrowers. Participants receive incentive payments for each mortgage they permanently modify. Participants were assessed in three categories: identifying and contacting homeowners; homeowner evaluation and assistance; and program reporting, management and governance. According to the new assessments, the three banks to be denied incentive payments made substantial errors in determining eligibility for the program, communicating with potentially eligible borrowers and calculating the incentives they are owed … * WASHINGTON (6/13/11)--As regulators wrestle with the definition of a qualified residential mortgage (QRM)-- mortgages that would be exempt from risk retention--Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said Thursday she would eliminate the exemption entirely(American Banker June 10). Regulators proposed a 20% down payment and certain debt-to-income restrictions as the exemption standard. Banks and consumer advocates said restrictions that rigid would only benefit the wealthy and become the new standard for conforming loans. Blair, in remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations, suggested it would be better to do away with a QRM standard and still require a retention rate of 5% …


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