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Fannie: 50% Chance U.S. Economy Will Double-Dip by End of 2012

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae gives the U.S. economy equal chances for a second recession and recovery by the end of next year. Podcasting the 2011 October Economic Outlook, titled Economy at a Crossroads, the company forecasted that GDP will stay below 2 percent for the remainder of 2011 into next year. Among other reasons, the GSE's internal think tank cited trouble in the financial and labor markets, given the euro debt crisis, weak jobs reports, and low consumer confidence. The outlook follows several other similar reports.

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Survey: Originators Thriving Despite Rules, Regulations

Mortgage originations are on their way up despite the onset of new rules and regulations, according to a recent survey by MortgageDaily.com. Also included: how top originators thrive in today├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós tough market. The results? Three-quarters of those polled make $250,000 a year, even as many of the same lenders decry mortgage rules and regulations. Much of the survey's findings follow departures from the industry by major mortgage lenders, grim economic outlooks, and more.

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RE/MAX Report Shows Sales on the Rise

RE/MAX has released the results of its most recent housing survey, and the company's evaluation of 53 metropolitan areas demonstrates a 7.6 percent rise in home sales year-over-year in September. The findings represent the third consecutive month in which an increase in sales was shown year-over-year for comparable months, and generally, sales have been on the uptick for four of nine months during 2011 based on RE/MAX's report. September's data extends trends seen from data recorded in July and August, during which sales rose by18 percent and 13.1 percent respectively.

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Fraud Participant Pleads Guilty in $7 Million Case

Another mortgage fraud engineer has been brought to justice in New York, with Marleen Shillingford entering a guilty plea following her participation in a multimillion-dollar scheme. Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez, the defendant waived her right to indictment on charges related to a scam that involved more than 40 properties. The fraudulent acts were primarily executed against properties held by banks receiving funding from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

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CMBS Division Likely to Close at Credit Suisse

Financial institution Credit Suisse is set to shut down its commercial mortgage-backed securities division following rumblings of approaching layoffs. The overall impact of the global economy and dropping property values in the commercial sector this year are also believed to have played a role. According to numerous news outlets, Credit Suisse's executive of securitized products, Albert Sohn, held a meeting on Wednesday to announce the likely firing of 50 people working as part of the company's commercial real-estate team.

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Private Investment Pilot Program Gains Traction

Capitol Hill is buzzing with the news of a pilot program that would facilitate the redirection of private investments into the U.S. mortgage industry. The potential moves from the Obama administration and federal housing regulators represent a transition from a mortgage-backed securities market that is largely controlled by the government sponsored enterprises. Talk in Washington, D.C., indicates that as early as 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would initiate the sale of portions of securities to specific private investors.

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Survey Shows Global Rise In Fraud Tech Efforts

Fiserv, Inc. recently evaluated technology initiatives targeting the prevention of fraud money laundering, and the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós survey shows that financial institutions are continuing to invest in such measures in spite of the growing need for mortgage banks to limit spending.

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MBA Speaker Portrays Changing Demographics in Homeownership

Minorities and seniors are growing their share of the national population more than ever, William H. Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, told attendees at the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual convention and expo Chicago Wednesday. There is also a continuing population shift out of the heartland states to what Frey classifies as the new Sunbelt.

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Credit Officers Speak Out in Fed Survey

Credit officers are weighing in on the current state of the markets, credit terms, securities financing, and over-the-counter derivatives, according to a recent Federal Reserve poll. The results were mixed, and a broad look at credit availability demonstrated no definitive direction in terms of easing versus tightening credit, which is a departure from June's findings that showed an overall loosening of credit across the board. Twenty-one financial institutions participated in the survey.

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Mortgage Rates Climb Higher Following Steep Fall Last Week

After hitting rock bottom last week, mortgage rates returned to previous lows on a somewhat tenuous climb this week as European central bankers seemed to reach a deal and a U.S. jobs report netted better-than-expected results. Leaping forward from a history-making 3.94 percent last week, interest rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.12 percent, according to Freddie. Bankrate.com offered up similar results, showcasing a 4.37-percent 30-year loan rate this week, up from 4.21 percent.

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