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Bipartisan Bill Targets More Capital Access, Job Growth

Targeting job growth to boost the nation's economy and housing markets, a co-authored bill calls for the easing of mandates contained within the Dodd-Frank Act and the Sarbanes Oxley Act. U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-Virginia), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), and CHarles Schumer (D-New York) recently announced the Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act of 2011; the senators hope to help small businesses seeking to go public by altering the pace required to meet expensive obligations in terms of investor protections.

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S&P Lookout Report Shows Growth in Global Concerns

Standard & Poor's recent Lookout Report showed a solid reduction in the amount of recession-related concerns those in the U.S. financial markets are feeling and acting upon. The biweekly survey, created by S&P Capital IQ's Global Market Intelligence division, demonstrated that the drop in anxiety over the state of the nation's overall economic conditions was somewhat mitigated by rising fears over the European debt crisis. S&P's outlook also showed that U.S. home pricing has returned to levels seen in 2002.

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Ally Financial Ceases Buying Loans in Massachusetts

Ally Financial Inc. announced Friday that it will stop buying new mortgage loans in Massachusetts, effective Monday, in connection with a spat of suits against four other big lenders over allegedly illegal foreclosure activity. On Thursday Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed suit against Ally and four others ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô alleging that the lenders foreclosed on homes illegally and without mortgage notes.

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Geithner: We Will Fight Financial Reform ‘Forces’

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner criticized opponents Thursday for their efforts to weaken and ultimately repeal large chunks of financial reform by the Obama administration. Without naming critics, he veiled any references to political and legislative maneuvers in recent years to delay and rid the U.S. legal code of financial reform enacted by the Obama administration in the wake of the recession. Talk of repeal continues to mount for the Dodd-Frank Act.

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Small Originators Filling Footprint of Rivals: Report

Smaller mortgage originators are stepping up to the plate to make loans as larger lenders - encumbered by mounting litigation and repurchase claims - pull back from the servicing sector, according to a report released Thursday. Paul Miller, a financial analyst with FBR Capital Markets, based conclusions from the report on quarterly shares of market activity. He credited the retreat by larger lenders for reasons why rivals more than doubled their respective footprints in the mortgage market by the third quarter this year.

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Europe’s Crises Keep Mortgage Rates at a Standstill

Mortgage rates largely stayed the same this week as trouble in the euro zone threatened to upend global financial markets, encouraging investors to stay near the safe haven of U.S. Treasury debt. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac and finance Web site Bankrate.com released separate weekly surveys that found rates hovering at or above figures seen for several weeks in a row. The GSE noted averages for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reaching 4 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the fifth consecutive week for lows for the benchmark loan.

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Lawmakers Grill HUD Official Over Stretched-Thin FHA

The weak capital position of the Federal Housing Administration came into play at a hearing Thursday, where members of the House Financial Services Committee grilled HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Lawmakers took turns interrogating the Obama administration official over substantially fewer reserves in place to meet loan guarantees at a time when the housing market stays near bottom. The federal agency recently came under fire from news media, think tanks, and academia for failing to meet the minimum threshold.

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BBVA Compass Opens Fourth Mortgage Center

Opening up new industry jobs in Tempe, Arizona, BBVA Compass recently announced that it would launch a mortgage operations center in the Southwestern city. The branch will be BBVA Compass' fourth mortgage-focused complex, and the company noted its growth in the sector as the chief catalyst behind the development of a new location in Tempe.

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