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House Republicans Propose Kneecapping CFPB

Firing another salvo at the new Dodd-Frank regulatory regime, House Republicans submitted an appropriations bill last week that proposes slashing $350 million from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's budget for 2012. Released by the House Committee on Appropriations, the bill offers to cap funding for the CFPB at $200 million, keeping to a minimum the sweeping powers that Dodd-Frank invested in the new regulatory agency. Provisions also threatened to kneecap the Obama administration's 2011 fiscal year budget.

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Transwestern Adds Transaction Manager

In a statement released Thursday, Transwestern announced the appointment of Sunjay Arya as transaction manager at its Houston headquarters. We are excited about the growth of our multifamily team, both locally and nationally, said Ed Cummins, SVP of multifamily services.

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Tech it Out: New Appraisal Compliance Partnership Announced

Tech leaders a la mode and CoreLogic are teaming up. CoreLogic├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós ValuEdge platform will now connect with a la mode├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Mercury Network to facilitate ValuEdge's Native XML appraisal data. CoreLogic's ValuEdge software targets streamlined appraisal process compliance, and the integrated plugin with a la mode will provide CoreLogic with additional quality control elements and advanced bundling for all reports.

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Six-Month Delay for Dodd-Frank

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued a six-month delay for the finalization of rules and regulations in sync with the Dodd-Frank Act, temporarily checking a host of new requirements that analysts fear will distress the derivatives, financial, and mortgage banking markets. The Federal Reserve, FDIC, and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency fell behind schedule in the lead-up to Dodd-Frank's implementation phase, which goes into effect on July 16 despite that over half of the required 387 provisions need writing.

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RE/MAX Sees Positive Movement in Housing Trends

RE/MAX issued a report this week that yields a net gain in month-over-month statistics for home sales and prices in May, aligning with an expected seasonal drive by homebuyers, investors, and foreign buyers to real estate. Adding to a three-month trend on the upside, the company says home prices climbed 3.7 percent between April and May, while closed sales transactions rose 3.2 percent. RE/MAX says activity appears to be coming back in line with the seasonal trends expected this time of year.

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Zillow Expands Database of Homes

The real estate information marketplace Zillow has expanded its database of homes, leveraging user-submitted data to add more than 25 million new home valuations generated from the company's proprietary Zestimate algorithms, which are Zillow's own market value estimates based on various details available about individual properties. The company says it now has data, Zestimates, and Rent Zestimates on more than three-quarters of all homes in the United States.

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MBA: Mortgage Apps Jump as Low Rates Draw Consumers

Representing a nudge in the right direction for the origination market, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a 13 percent swell in home loan applications submitted last week, up from the record low reported just one week earlier. It was the biggest gain recorded in three months. Michael Fratantoni, MBA's VP of research and economics, says low rates are driving consumers back to loans. Rates have dropped over eight of the last nine weeks - a primary driver for homeowners looking to refinance. MBA's Refinance Index jumped 16.5 percent.

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Franchise Program Allows Brokers to Stay in Business

The innovative franchise system launched by a mortgage company may enable mortgage brokers to go into business for themselves and earn additional compensation in an industry recently beset by tough new compensation rules. LenderCity, a Missouri-based company, recently announced its completion of a Uniform Franchise Disclosure Document (UFDD), which will allow licensed brokers running businesses to retain their financial independence and access back-end services without losing their identities.

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