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Increase in Home Prices May Stifle Buyer Choices: NAR

Limited inventory may be boosting home prices, but buyer choices are stifled in an increasing number of markets, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. The association├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós latest quarterly report showed that the median existing single-family home price increased during Q2 in 110 out of 147 metropolitan statistical areas compared to the same period in 2011. Of the remaining 37 MSAs, 34 posted price declines, and three remained unchanged. The national median existing single-family home price was $181,500 in Q2.

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Churchill Mortgage to Partner with Real Estate Radio Network

Churchill Mortgage is taking to the airwaves to support the company's educational initiatives for loan officers. Recently launching a new partnership with Ron Quintero, CEO of the Real Estate Radio Network, Churchill will gain support for company clients choosing to utilize its tools for recruiting, training, motivating, and retaining quality lending professionals.

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Alex Rodriguez Lists Miami Beach Mansion for $38M

Living legend Alex Rodriguez has put his Miami estate on the market for $38 million. Curbed reports that the Yankee's player is rumored to have spent more than $24 million to build the 20,000-square-foot Florida mansion, which includes nine-bedrooms, 13-bathrooms, 275-feet of waterfront, two docks, a gymnasium, full steam room, and of course, a batting cage.

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FDIC Goes After 12 Banks for Misrepresenting RMBS

The FDIC launched a suit against 12 banks Friday regarding misrepresentations of residential mortgage-backed securities sold to now-defunct, Alabama-based Colonial Bank. Among those accused are some of the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. The 12 banks sold more than $3.88 million in securities to colonial bank, and the FDIC alleges the banks misrepresented several aspects of the loans making up the securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis.

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Radian Guaranty Sees Growth in New Insurance

Radian Guaranty Inc. released data for primary mortgage insurance delinquencies for July, revealing growth in primary new insurance and a drop in delinquent loans. According to the release, Radian wrote $3.37 billion in primary new insurance for the month of July, an increase from $3.08 billion in June. In addition, loan delinquency was down in July, with primary delinquent inventory falling to 97,012 from 98,450 the month before. This release followed a more dismal earlier report on the company's second-quarter financial earnings.

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United States Appraisals Initiates MBA Membership

The Mortgage Bankers Association is welcoming a new partner, recently announcing that United States Appraisals has joined the group's membership. United States Appraisals' standing with the District of Columbia-based MBA is effective immediately. United States Appraisals' standing with the District of Columbia-based MBA is effective immediately. "We are very pleased to align ourselves with an organization like the MBA," stated Aaron Fowler, president of United States Appraisals.

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Settlement Monitor Chooses Secondary Law Firms

The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight recently chose five new firms to serve as its eyes and ears on the ground as the $25 servicer settlement grinds forward. The new secondary professional firms ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô including BKD, LLP; Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP; Crowe Horwath, LLP; Grant Thornton, LLP; and McGladrey, LLP ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô will assist settlement monitor Joseph A. Smith, Jr., over the next three and a half years. Each firm will assist BDO Consulting, a division of BDO USA, LLP, and the primary professional firm responsible for evaluations.

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Genworth, USMI Initiates Key Management Changes

Genworth Financial's U.S. Mortgage Insurance (USMI) division has initiated two key management changes. The company recently announced the promotion of John Clifford to senior vice president of commercial operations, as well as the return of Matt Young, who will rejoin USMI as its senior vice president of sales.

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First-Time Buyers Booming in the United Kingdom

Though the United Kingdom is currently in the spotlight as host for the 2012 Olympic Games, British lenders have their own reason to celebrate this summer, following the release of a study that shows a significant uptick in first-time homebuyers. The Council of Mortgage Lenders in Manchester, England, is reporting that the number of first-time mortgage loan recipients in the country is up 22 percent year-over-year.

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