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CoreLogic: HARP 2.0 Will Help GSEs, Homeowners

Modifications in line for the Home Affordable Refinance Program from the Obama administration will buoy homeowners with negative equity and origination markets, but field few other benefits for investors in mortgage-backed securities, according to a new outlook. Analytics provider CoreLogic released a statement Monday demarcating HARP├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós benefits and problem areas, skewering assertions that the program will alleviate a chronic lack of demand and showing that economic troubles may persist despite government assistance.

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Bank Shares Plunge as Euro Bonds Infect MF Global

Multiple news reports faulted MF Global with fallout for stocks and shares among major lenders Monday as the New York Federal Reserve delisted the embattled securities firm. The Dow Jones industrial average spun into a 276-point tailspin to hit 11,955 points by end of day, taking with it the shares for several mortgage lenders that lifted last week when European leaders announced a bailout package for debt-ridden Greece. At least one news outlet said the downfall of MF Global lent credibility to the Volcker Rule.

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Major Mortgage Insurers See Margins Slip: MICA Report

In bad news for mortgage insurers, the big four U.S. companies saw their profit margins shrink year-over-year by more than a quarter in September, according to the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America. Insurers underwrote $4.9 billion in risk for mortgage lenders last month, substantially down from $6.9 billion in profit recorded by the trade group in September last year. The uptick in reported profit and underwritten policies reflects a series of ongoing problems for the industry at large.

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Big Four Release Earnings, Citing Economy, Litigation

Litigation fees, bold restructuring moves, and new regulation helped shape earnings figures over the third quarter for the nation's largest lenders and financial institutions in October. Along with numerous other banking holding companies and investment firms, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo released their reports to the media and investors over the past two weeks. The results: more mortgage lenders continue to exit the business, while financial institutions stepped up the public debate against onerous regulations.

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AHSMI Chooses Oracle for Online Enhancement

American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. (AHSMI) is taking advantage of a new way to ensure compliant, efficient collaboration with its partners. The company recently announced that it would begin using Oracle's WebCenter solutions to manage business processes for all mortgage-related activities with participating third-party loan investors.

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Weichert Turns To Tech for GSE Compliance

Weichert Financial Services is investing in technology, with the recent announcement that the company would begin utilizing a platform from InHouse Inc. to enhance its appraisal processing. Choosing InHouse to facilitate data delivery, Weichert is set to take advantage of fully integrated processing for management of its appraisal-related activities.

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OCC: Volcker Rule Will Cost Banks $1B to Comply

The recently proposed Volcker Rule will sap nearly $1 billion in revenue from the nation's banks as lenders spend more time, resources, and manpower complying with regulations, according to a recent government study. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency estimated that the rule as drafted by the FDIC, Federal Reserve, and other federal authorities will result in expenditures totaling $100 million for state, local, and other governments. The rule continues to stir controversy following its proposal earlier this month.

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Bank Shares Soar on Europe’s Grand Debt Bargain

Bank shares lifted in the enthusiastic market response to news that European Union states reached a grand bargain to save the euro, but analysts speaking with MReport pare jubilation with forecasts for fewer refinance applications and home purchases. After two years of time spent in a debt crisis, European leaders cobbled together a third bailout measure to salvage debt-ridden Greece and prevent further peril for the continent├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós common currency.

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FHFA: Fannie, Freddie May Need $142B More in Taxpayer Funds

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released projections Thursday that showed the GSEs may need anywhere from $51 billion to $142 billion more taxpayer funds over the next few years, even as one Republican lawmaker offered a plan that would siphon federal support for the companies. The scenarios show that the companies will ultimately need to withdraw anywhere from $220 billion to $311 billion from the federal government, a lower estimate for forecasts that originally fixed their needs at anywhere from $221 billion to $363 billion.

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Mortgage Rates Unchanged from Week Earlier

Mortgage rates largely remained near historic lows from the week earlier, reflecting a sense of uncertainty that continues to persist among wary homebuyers. Bankrate.com denoted a new low for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which fell from 4.38 percent last week to crest at 4.33 percent this week. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage giant Freddie Mac polled financial institutions and the like in their weekly surveys. Freddie differed by few turns, signaling the loss of one percentage point this week.

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