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Mortgage Closing Rate Hits New High in August

Mortgage Closing Rate Hits New High in August

Examining a sample of loans initiated in May, mortgage technology provider Ellie Mae calculated a closing rate of 61.1 percent for all loans in its August report, up from 57.7 percent in July's report. "The closing rate in August was the highest since we began tracking this data three years ago," said Jonathan Corr, president and COO of Ellie Mae. "This was further indication that lenders are working every deal and making sure leads don't slip away."

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Mortgage Rates Jump to 4-Month High

Mortgage Rates Jump to 4-Month High

Freddie Mac released Thursday the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the interest rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) jumping more than 10 basis points to an average 4.23 percent (0.5 point), the highest level since the start of May. It was the biggest one-week gain so far this year. "Fixed-rate mortgage rates rose this week following the increase in 10-year Treasury yields being partially fueled by market speculation the Federal Reserve might change its interest rate guidance," said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

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Large Lenders Anticipate Slight Easing in Credit Standards

Large Lenders Anticipate Slight Easing in Credit Standards

In a survey of mortgage lenders over the third quarter, Fannie Mae found 85 percent of senior executives believe it would be difficult for most Americans to get a home loan in today's environment, up from 81 percent in the second quarter. To compare, only 50 percent of consumers polled in the company's August National Housing Survey said they think securing a mortgage would be difficult. Lenders were also more sour on their outlook for purchase mortgage demand over the next three months.

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Mortgage Applications Bounce After Post-Labor Day Plunge

Mortgage Applications Bounce After Post-Labor Day Plunge

MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of application levels, rose 7.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending September 12, the group reported. The bounce followed a 7.2 percent decline in the previous week, which included an adjustment to account for the Labor Day holiday.

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U.S. Bank Settles over Alleged Lending Discrimination

U.S. Bank Settles over Alleged Lending Discrimination

U.S. Bank has reached a settlement with a housing regulator over allegations the bank discriminated against a Native American couple in denying them a refinance. Under the settlement's terms, U.S. Bank agreed to pay the couple's U.S. Bank credit card balance, amounting to nearly $11,500. The bank also agreed to approve their refinance application at the same interest rate and terms under which they originally applied in May 2013.

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Housing’s Slowdown: Setback or the New Normal?

Housing’s Slowdown: Setback or the New Normal?

After a summer of ups and downs, mortgage application volumes (as reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association) stunned in early September with a 7.2 percent week-over-week drop, bringing the association's index to its lowest level in 14 years. While there are a number of factors that could have played a role in the latest plunge, general unsteadiness in the current economic picture remains the underlying problem.

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Applications Point to Further Declines in New Home Sales

Applications Point to Further Declines in New Home Sales

The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Builder Application Survey tumbled 9 percent month-over-month in August, according to the latest from the group. The anticipated decline follows a 2.4 percent drop in July new home sales as reported by the Commerce Department. According to initial estimates from the government, sales that month were at an adjusted annual pace of 412,000.

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Mortgage Applications Plunge in Latest Index

Mortgage Applications Plunge in Latest Index

Applications for mortgage loans took a hard drop in September's first week, ending at their lowest level in nearly 14 years, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed loan applications fell 7.2 percent for the week ending September 5, declining to the lowest level since December 2000. The week's results include seasonal adjustments and an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.

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Regulators Optimistic on Finalizing Risk Retention Rule

Regulators Optimistic on Finalizing Risk Retention Rule

Financial regulators said Tuesday they hope to finish their work on a rule aimed at tightening mortgage standards and reducing risk by the end of this year. In a Senate Banking Committee hearing, FDIC chair Martin Gruenberg said his agency and others are "in the end game" of their work on a rule that would require mortgage-backed securities (MBS) issuers to hold a stake on packaged loans that don't meet certain exemption requirements.

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Loan Production, Profits Up at Independent Lenders

Loan Production, Profits Up at Independent Lenders

Profits at independent mortgage banks nationwide jumped from the first quarter to the second as loan production spiked, according to a trend report from business advisory firm Richey May & Co. "Independent mortgage bankers' unit volume, expenses and margins were very close to those they experienced in the third quarter of 2013," said Keith May, managing director of advisory services at Richey May.

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