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Default Rates on First and Second Mortgages Fall to New Lows

The default rate for first mortgages now stands at a post-recession low, and the default rate for second mortgages is at the lowest level in its more than 8-year history, according to data through September from the S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices. The first mortgage default rate fell to 1.36 percent in September, the lowest level since the end of the 2007/2009 recession. At the same time, the second mortgage default rate bottomed to 0.64 percent, down from 0.72 percent in August.

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Inventory Limits California Sales, Boosts Median Price

The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) continued to report a shortage of inventory in September, which is limiting home sales but seems to be pushing up median home prices. According to C.A.R., the median home price in California is now at the highest level in more than four years. Sales, on the other hand, fell in September, sinking 5.2 percent from a revised 510,910 in August and declined 1.2 percent from a revised 490,280 a year ago.

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Virginia Man Sentenced in $41M Bank Fraud Suit

A Virginia man received a sentence of 14 years in federal prison for carrying out elaborate and sophisticated fraud schemes that took millions away from investors and the government, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) announced. George P. Hranowskyj of Chesapeake, Virginia, pled guilty in July to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

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PNC Reports Growth in Originations

PNC recorded net income of $925 million in Q3, an 11 percent year-over-year increase from $834 million. PNC's total net income for the first three quarters was $2.3 billion, down from $2.6 billion in the same period last year. Part of PNC's quarterly increase can be attributed to a rise in residential mortgage banking revenue, which grew $35 million "due to higher loan sales revenue driven by higher loan origination volume" the company said. Loan origination volume increased $1.2 billion from third-quarter 2011 to $3.8 billion.

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Las Vegas Man Convicted in $8M Mortgage Fraud Case

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that a federal jury convicted a Las Vegas homebuilder in an $8 million mortgage fraud scheme. According to the report, Paul Wagner, a homebuilder in the area for 20 years, was found guilty of conspiracy and fraud charges for selling houses at inflated prices in an attempt to defraud lenders.

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Stronger Traffic Boosts Builder Confidence

After jumping 11 points in three months, builder confidence inched up one point in October to 41, remaining at its highest level since June 2006, the National Association of Home Builders reported Tuesday, matching economist expectations. The October boost was due entirely to a surge in homebuyer traffic in October, as other elements of the index were flat from September. The traffic index├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬Øwhich had been revised downward in September to 30, from an originally reported 31├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬Øleapt to 35, its highest level since April 2006.

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Citigroup Announces Departure of Two Executives

One day after posting better-than-expected├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬Øalbeit reduced├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬ØQ3 quarterly earnings, Citigroup announced the resignations of CEO Vikram Pandit and president and COO John P. Havens. Pandit's sudden and unexpected announcement has some analysts and investors baffled. Michael Jones, chairman and chief investment officer of Riverfront Investment Group, LLC, told Reuters he thinks the move raises "red flags everywhere."

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Sales Vet Joins ICON

New

Irvine, California-based ICON Residential Lenders announced Sean Finn has joined the company as area sales manager of the Midwest Region for Wholesale. Finn joins the national wholesale mortgage originator and servicer from Wells Fargo, where he had a successful career in sales management.

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