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Servicing

New Bill May Extend Conforming Loan Limits

On Monday lawmakers introduced a bill that would extend the current conforming loan limits for another two years a deal that could continue federal insurance for homeowners with high conforming jumbo loans. Rep. John Campbell (R-California) and Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-New York) co-sponsored the bill, titled the Conforming Loan Limits Extension Act, which would fix the limit for jumbo loans backed by GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration at $729,750.

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Chicago Fed Names New Advisor

New

In a statement released Monday, NDeX announced the appointment of its president and chief financial officer, Scott Goldstein, to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Advisory Council. Scott represents a combination of business savvy and economic vision that will prove to be a valuable resource in his role with the Fed, said James P.

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NAHB: Homebuilder Confidence Up in July

On Monday the National Association of Home Builders reported an increasingly sunny outlook among single-family homebuilders, with a Housing Market Index jointly released by Wells Fargo signaling a 13-point rise in homebuilder confidence-an uptick from the three-point plunge in June. In July two of the three indexes saw surges, up from steady declines over May. Current sales conditions went up to 15 from two points-the same as in May-as sales expectations for the next six months jumped by 22 points.

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Closing Will Cost You in New York

The numbers are in, and New York tops the list of states boasting the highest mortgage closing costs nationwide. The results of the Bankrate, Inc. survey demonstrate New York├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós dubious dominance in closing fees for the second straight year. Other high-cost areas rounding out the top five? Texas, Utah, San Francisco, and Idaho. Nationally, the total cost of origination and title fees has risen since last year by 8.8 percent, to an average cost of $4,070 on a $200,000 mortgage.

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JPMorgan to Slash $154B Mortgage Portfolio

On Thursday news reports confirmed that mortgage giant JPMorgan plans to scale back a $154 billion mortgage portfolio to a bare minimum on its balance sheets, even as it battles through continuing mortgage losses, multiple suits and settlements over past loan-servicing practices.

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Federal Office Closure Could Harm Atlanta Real Estate

A report published by turnaround management firm Anderson Bauman Tourtellot Vos found that a recent move by the Obama administration to clear office space in Atlanta could strangle the city's still-recovering commercial real estate sector, potentially throwing back markets in a state with the fifth-largest amount of government real estate outside of Washington, D.C. The firm fears that a reduction in government-owned property will also crimp employment.

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Housing Analysts Jittery About Debt Default Scenario

Fueling fears about a federal default scenario, fragile debt-ceiling negotiations continued to splinter and stagnate this week, with Republicans refusing to budge on proposed tax increases and Democrats fighting to keep entitlements off the chopping block. If trends continue and the federal government defaults on its national debt, housing economists and mortgage rate analysts predict spikes in interest and mortgage rates, with steep and potentially catastrophic declines in homes sales.

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