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MountainSeed Debuts New Commercial Valuation Tool

MountainSeed Appraisal Management, LLC, is targeting the commercial market with the launch of a new evaluation program. According to MountainSeed, the tool will make it easier for appraisers to extend commercial valuations to smaller lenders.

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Georgia Bank Closes as Authorities Search for Missing Banker

A Georgia bank closed Friday, with state authorities appointing the FDIC as receiver. The banker, accused of embezzling millions from the shuttered institution, remains missing after a two-week absence. Montgomery Bank & Trust, located in Alley, Georgia, closed its doors Friday, reopening as part of Ameris Bank. Ameris entered a purchase agreement with the FDIC to assume all of Montgomery Bank├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós deposits and about $12.4 million of its assets ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô mainly cash and cash equivalents, according to the FDIC.

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High-LTV Originations See Sharp Increase Under HARP

Overall, mortgage originations declined in April. However, originations for loans with high loan-to-value ratios have been on the rise the past few months with April as no exception, according to the latest data from Lender Processing Services. The percentage of non-FHA originations has also been on the rise since for several months, and it did not drop off in April. In fact, non-FHA loan originations have risen steadily since November 2011 when they took up 20.2 percent of total loan originations to 33.8 percent in April.

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Commercial Real Estate Group Taps Into Refinancing Rush

In Maryland, Sunrise Senior Living, Inc., is taking advantage of the recent refinancing boom. The real estate company has announced changes to its loan for Bethesda's Fox HIll assisted living community, noting that Sunrise has opted to refinance the existing mortgage.

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GSEs Shift Focus for Repurchases: Fitch

Freddie

Fitch Ratings released a note Thursday stating that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac won├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ót be slowing down on repurchase requests and focus seems to be shifting from the largest institutions to midtier regional banks. If this does happen, the rating agency said those banks will start to feel the pressure for claims-related earnings. Fitch said recent announcements from PNC, Suntrust, and First Horizon expressed an intent to increase reserves against future repurchase claims, which suggests Fannie and Freddie may be eying regional institutions.

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Real Estate Roundtable Announces New Board Members

In Washington, D.C., the Real Estate Roundtable has announced its new roster of directors. The organization recently appointed members of the board for the 2013 fiscal year, and the Roundtable's incoming chairman and 21-person board began their terms on July 1.

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AGA Files Statement With the House Finance Subcommittee

The American Guild of Appraisers has officially filed a statement with Congressional legislators as part of a recent hearing titled, Appraisal Oversight: The Regulatory Impact on Consumers and Businesses. Conducted by the Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity Committee of the House Finance Sub-Committee, the AGA was asked to submit a statement of record to assist the lawmakers as they proposals directed at improving appraisal regulation, enforcement, and oversight. AGA said that it is also working with consumer organizations to ensure that consumers receive professional appraisals.

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