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Beige Book: Economy Expanded ‘Modestly’ in September


The nation's economy generally expanded modestly from mid-August until the end of September, the Federal Reserve said in its periodic Beige Book report issued Wednesday. The report, the last Beige Book to be issued prior to Election Day, painted a mixed regional picture, with a leveling off of economic activity in New York and a slowing in the pace of growth in Kansas City. Meanwhile, the remaining 10 federal reserve districts reported that "growth continued at a modest pace."

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Star Wars Actor Lists Studio City Estate for $2.65M

Hayden Christensen, most famous for his role in the modern interpretation of the Star Wars films, is selling his Los Angeles abode. The actor's posh pad, located in the Studio City area, sits on three-quarters of an acre and is listed for $2.65 million.

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New President and CEO Confirmed for Farmer Mac

The directorship of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) has appointed a new leader for the company. Naming Timothy L. Buzby as as president and CEO, Farmer Mac's board announced that the industry veteran's term was effective immediately.

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White Van VP Earns Third Term on NAMFS Board

The National Association of Mortgage Field Services re-elected VP of White Van Real Estate Services, Kris Katoa, for a third term as a board member. Katoa has been a member of NAMFS for more than 13 years and previously served two terms on the organization's board and on the committee for its 2011 National Conference.

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Risk Managers Share Positive Outlook for Mortgage, Equity Loans

Optimism among bankers continued to rise in the year's third quarter, according to survey results released by the Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA). The survey, conducted by PRMIA for FICO, showed that the majority of bank risk professionals expect mortgage loan delinquency to either fall or remain the same. PRMIA called the drop in delinquency predictions "encouraging," as sentiment on delinquency usually experiences a dip in the third quarter.

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Survey: Consumer Confidence Up Significantly in September

Consumer optimism about the housing market and homeownership improved substantially in September, Fannie Mae reported. According to the GSE's September 2012 National Housing Survey, upward trends in home prices and downward trends in mortgage rates throughout the summer reinforced positive attitudes about where the market is headed. Confidence about the economy also grew in September, marking a turnaround from a year of pessimism. Regarding the overall economy, 41 percent of consumers believe the country is on the right track.

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Equifax: Market ‘Set for Growth’ as Home Equity Credit Balances Rise

Home equity installment balances rose 0.3 percent in August--the first monthly increase since November 2007, according to Equifax. After plummeting 49 percent over the past four years to just $143 billion, the company contends August's uptick could signal "a possible turning point in mortgage demand." Equifax says amid signs the contraction in mortgage debt is slowing and delinquencies are trending down, it looks like positive growth may finally be taking hold in the mortgage market.

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