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Fraud Participant Pleads Guilty in $7 Million Case

Another mortgage fraud engineer has been brought to justice in New York, with Marleen Shillingford entering a guilty plea following her participation in a multimillion-dollar scheme. Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez, the defendant waived her right to indictment on charges related to a scam that involved more than 40 properties. The fraudulent acts were primarily executed against properties held by banks receiving funding from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

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CMBS Division Likely to Close at Credit Suisse

Financial institution Credit Suisse is set to shut down its commercial mortgage-backed securities division following rumblings of approaching layoffs. The overall impact of the global economy and dropping property values in the commercial sector this year are also believed to have played a role. According to numerous news outlets, Credit Suisse's executive of securitized products, Albert Sohn, held a meeting on Wednesday to announce the likely firing of 50 people working as part of the company's commercial real-estate team.

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Private Investment Pilot Program Gains Traction

Capitol Hill is buzzing with the news of a pilot program that would facilitate the redirection of private investments into the U.S. mortgage industry. The potential moves from the Obama administration and federal housing regulators represent a transition from a mortgage-backed securities market that is largely controlled by the government sponsored enterprises. Talk in Washington, D.C., indicates that as early as 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would initiate the sale of portions of securities to specific private investors.

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Survey Shows Global Rise In Fraud Tech Efforts

Fiserv, Inc. recently evaluated technology initiatives targeting the prevention of fraud money laundering, and the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós survey shows that financial institutions are continuing to invest in such measures in spite of the growing need for mortgage banks to limit spending.

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MBA Speaker Portrays Changing Demographics in Homeownership

Minorities and seniors are growing their share of the national population more than ever, William H. Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, told attendees at the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual convention and expo Chicago Wednesday. There is also a continuing population shift out of the heartland states to what Frey classifies as the new Sunbelt.

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Credit Officers Speak Out in Fed Survey

Credit officers are weighing in on the current state of the markets, credit terms, securities financing, and over-the-counter derivatives, according to a recent Federal Reserve poll. The results were mixed, and a broad look at credit availability demonstrated no definitive direction in terms of easing versus tightening credit, which is a departure from June's findings that showed an overall loosening of credit across the board. Twenty-one financial institutions participated in the survey.

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Mortgage Rates Climb Higher Following Steep Fall Last Week

After hitting rock bottom last week, mortgage rates returned to previous lows on a somewhat tenuous climb this week as European central bankers seemed to reach a deal and a U.S. jobs report netted better-than-expected results. Leaping forward from a history-making 3.94 percent last week, interest rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.12 percent, according to Freddie. Bankrate.com offered up similar results, showcasing a 4.37-percent 30-year loan rate this week, up from 4.21 percent.

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AppraiserLoft Closes Amid Rumors, Departures

Mortgage appraisal company AppraiserLoft has closed its doors following numerous executive departures, rumors of non-payment to appraisers, and an ongoing lawsuit brought against the company's CEO regarding alleged activities unrelated to the company. According to numerous trade publications, AppraiserLoft made employees aware of the shutdown last week in advance of its official closure. Current clients are instructed to contact the company via its help-desk e-mail account.

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Advantage Systems Targeting Mortgage Subsidiaries

Advantage Systems is set to offer enhanced programs to facilitate critical communication between parent companies that possess mortgage divisions. The company's Accounting for Mortgage Bankers (AMB) product can now be utilized with greater leverage to enable mortgage subsidiaries to operate outside of an entity's general ledger system, creating improved efficiency and streamlined processing.

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