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Daily Dose

Americans’ Economic Confidence Grows, but Housing Doubts Persist

Out of a group of 1,000 Americans polled in Fannie Mae's December National Housing Survey, 41 percent said they now believe the economy is "on the right track," up from 36 percent in November, the company reported. In contrast to December's slightly more positive economic attitudes, consumer sentiment toward the housing market remained subdued for another month.

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Michigan Lender to Pay $4.2M in Fraud Settlement

Southfield, Michigan-based lender GTL Investments, Inc., recently agreed to pay $4.2 million to settle claims regarding the origination of federally-backed mortgage loans that were not properly underwritten, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade.

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Fannie Mae CEO Warns of Reform Risks

Speaking as a guest presenter at the Rotary Club of Atlanta on Monday, Fannie Mae President and CEO Timothy Mayopoulos warned against any type of reform where housing finance is concerned, telling the audience that "the (current) system works," according to a report.

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Servicing Rights on Offer for Massive GSE Portfolio

The new year brought with it a new mortgage servicing rights (MSR) opportunity for interested buyers: a GSE portfolio valued at $4.2 billion in aggregate unpaid principal balance. According to MountainView Servicing Group, the portfolio is entirely made up of fixed-rate and first-lien product and features low delinquencies.

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Report: Progress Remains Slow but Steady for RMBS Sector

In its latest look at the RMBS segment, Fitch says that while the market still has some rebuilding left to do, it "has seen some rather substantial improvements of late," owing in large part to improved loan underwriting standards in recent years. According to the company, the performance of recent vintage mortgage loans is the best on record so far.

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November Brings Chill to Home Price Growth

In its November Home Price Index (HPI) report, property data firm CoreLogic recorded a 0.1 percent month-over-month increase in U.S. home prices for November. The minor gain, which includes data from distressed home sales, follows a 0.5 percent increase originally reported for October.

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Supreme Court Prepares to Hear Disparate Impact Arguments

The case scheduled to be heard later this month centers on claims that the Texas state housing department's fixed criteria for approving tax credits for low-income housing developers resulted in the approval of such credits for a larger percentage of developers in areas more heavily populated by minorities than in areas more populated by whites.

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Report: RBS May Pay More in FHFA Settlement

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) may have to pay additional penalties to settle claims that it sold faulty U.S. mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the housing market crash, according to a report from Reuters.

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Construction Spending Falls in November

Total construction spending for November fell 0.3 percent from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $975 billion, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Economists polled by Econoday predicted a 0.5 percent pickup.

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What Will 2015 Bring for Mortgage Rates?

With the Federal Reserve recently ending its monthly asset purchases and turning toward the possibility of bringing short-term interest rates up in 2015, analysts (including economists at Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and other housing groups and companies) are calling for the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate to rise to nearly 4.5 percent, with some calling for an average closer to 5 percent.

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