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Linear Title and Closing Offers Online Consumer Portal

Linear Title and Closing announced plans to introduce a web portal just for consumers who have closed on a loan with the company. Through the portal, consumers can access their personal databases, such as the completed mortgage package, a detailed analysis of the flow of mortgage funds, any rebates due to them, and proof of the mortgage recordation, the Rhode Island-based company explained.

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Redfin: Housing Catches Slight Winter Cold, Still Looks Strong

The housing market felt December's chill as home sales, listings, and prices all slipped, according to Redfin's Real-Time Price Tracker. While it's not unusual to see the market cool off in the holiday season, December's decline in listings was considerable compared to the years prior. According to Redfin, listings were down 11.5 percent from November, 33 percent from December 2011, and 44 percent from December 2010. The lack of selection had a hindering effect on sales.

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Commentary: Filling The Void

President Obama opened a big hole in his White House by tapping Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury, leaving empty--for the moment--the role of chief of staff. It's not the first time the president has looked to change nameplates of those who already worked for him. Strong managers, according to Harvard Business School theory, can move from one discipline to another without specific expertise, and Harvard Law alum Obama apparently picked up something beyond a law degree while in Cambridge.

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Zillow: Nearly 1 in 3 Homeowners Clear of Mortgage Debt, Value Biggest Factor

Nearly one-third--29.3 percent, or 20.6 million--of homeowners own their homes free and clear of mortgage debt, according to a recent analysis from Zillow. Zillow also revealed what factors might influence the percentage of homeowners who own their home outright in certain areas. For one, metro areas with lower home values tended to have a higher rate of mortgage-free homeowners since smaller loan amounts can be paid off more quickly. Age and credit rating were also contributing factors.

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Obama Nominates Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary

Four years after inheriting an economy on the brink, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner is stepping down. The nominee to replace him: Jack Lew, former director of the Office of Management and Budget during both the Clinton and Obama administrations and current White House Chief of Staff.

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CoreLogic Adds Four New Partners for MLS Data Co-op

CoreLogic is expanding its presence in Florida, recently announcing that the company has established technology partnerships with four of the state's real estate organizations. The Realtor groups will tap into CoreLogic's MLS Data Co-op to launch a multiple listing service (MLS) data sharing initiative.

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Mortgage Rates Rise, Expected to Feel Squeeze from Debt Ceiling

Mortgage rates took a jump this week as markets await the fiscal drama to unfold in the next few months. According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 3.40 (0.7 point) percent for the week ending January 10, up somewhat significantly from 3.34 percent in 2013's first survey. Bankrate reported similar results in its weekly survey, with the 30-year fixed average soaring to 3.67 percent--its highest level since September.

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