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MMI Takes Manhattan

On of the country├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós largest independent mortgage companies, Mortgage Master, Inc., has opened its first office in Manhattan. MMI cites the city├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós relatively resilient housing market as the catalyst behind its recent expansion in New York. The Manhattan branch will serve the Tri-State area, which includes Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, and Massachusetts-based MMI holds licenses in all three states.

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SunTrust Promoting in Tennessee

Promoting from within, SunTrust Mortgage Inc. is set to strengthen its internal structure. Both Debi Minton and Jeff Calvert were recently named as assistant vice presidents with the Georgia-based financial institution. Minton, hired by SunTrust in April, boasts more than 23 years of finance-related experience, and additionally, she├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós spent over eight years within the mortgage lending space, prior to her promotion.

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Zillow: Mortgage Rates Fall to Historic Lows

Keeping trends on track for mortgage rates, real estate Web site Zillow revealed a 15 basis-point plunge for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The current rate beached on a record all-time low made possible last month. According to the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, which the Web site creates by tracking thousands of anonymous loan quotes reported daily, the 30-year loan fell from 4.07 percent last week to crest at 3.92 percent. Meanwhile, rates for the 15-year loan hovered at 3.17 percent.

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Prudential Hiring in Wake of Partnership

Prudential Mortgage Capital Company has added a loan officer to its mid-Atlantic, southeast, and southwest regions with the hiring of Scott Heath. Based in the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Atlanta office, Heath will serve as an originator of commercial, mortgage-backed loans for securitization by newly-formed Liberty Island Group.

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Markets, Analysts React to the FHFA Suits

Partly in response to suits brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Friday, stocks for a number of the 17 companies-turned-defendants sank Tuesday, with Deutsche Bank leading the way down midday. Market watchers across the country offered up their reactions, with some portending considerable fallout for the economy and others waving away notions that a settlement by the banks would weaken the housing recovery. Deutsche, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and others all saw their shares decline Tuesday midday.

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Strong Servicing Sector for First United

First United Bank has reason to celebrate, with the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós recent announcement that its mortgage servicing division├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós portfolio has ballooned to more than $1 billion. The Oklahoma-based financial institution will now be able to serve even more customers in its home state and Texas thanks to its achievement.

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Profits Jump for Mortgage Banks Over Q2 2011

Despite an unfulfilling jobs report that left housing industries with flat feet, independent mortgage banks found reason to celebrate with a windfall in profit on second-quarter loans. Mortgage banks on average scored $575 for each loan, reflecting increases from $346 per loan over the first quarter this year, according to a performance report released Thursday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Companies saw their loan volume jump from $164 million on average over the first quarter to $174 million.

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HUD Scorecard Touts Initiatives Despite Housing Health

Housing market conditions remained fragile despite numerous initiatives put forward by the Obama administration, according to a recent scorecard released Thursday by HUD and the Treasury Department. The administration cited numerous industry-respected analytics sources and painted a helpful portrait of the homeownership and refinance endeavors it has made possible. Sources polled for the government gauge of housing and economic health included CoreLogic and Standard & Poor's, among others.

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