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FBR Releases Mixed Third-Quarter Bank Earnings

FBR Capital Markets & Co. has released its third-quarter report on bank earnings, and the results, which showed loan growth among some asset divisions, also indicated that the underlying fundamentals may not be in sync with the full impact such mitigating factors had on valuations during the quarter. Showing sensitivity to debt issues abroad and the current yield curve, findings for 3Q were mixed but pointed in a potentially positive direction for the final quarter of the year. Lending was up and net interest down.

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MBA: Multifamily Lending Jumps 31% Over 2010

More than 2,000 multifamily lenders financed five-unit apartment buildings to the tune of $68.8 billion over the course of 2010, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association report released Wednesday. The MBA pooled data from the MBA 2010 Commercial Multifamily Annual Origination Volume Rankings, which it said covered $119 billion in commercial and multifamily loans over the course of last year. The trade group found a 31-percent increase in total dollar volume for the multifamily lending industry.

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Mortgage Rates Remain Unchanged Amid Mixed News

Interest rates for mortgage loans hovered at around the same numbers this week seen last week, even while the construction sector celebrated with boons in starts and confidence. Freddie found the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage cresting at 4.11 percent, slightly down from 4.12 last week but not far from 4.21 percent seen during the same time last year. Bankrate.com disagreed with the mortgage giant by few turns, offering an increase from 4.21 percent to 4.37 percent this week.

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Bill Reintroduces Energy Costs to Underwriting Process

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle introduced a bill in the Senate that would require mortgage lenders to consider energy costs for borrowers when underwriting their federally insured loans. Sen. Michael Bennett and Sen. Johnny Isakson introduced the bill, titled the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy Act, as a way to restore energy cost calculations for government-backed mortgages. Sources in the know tell MReport that the bill could save billions for homeowners and create 83,000 jobs by 2012. A broad coalition backs the legislation.

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CFPB Appoints New Officer, Controversy Continues

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a new chief officer with the addition of Hubert H. Skip Humphrey III. Joining the CFPB as the head of its Office of Older Americans, Humphrey will now act as the bureau├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós lead advocate for the demographic.

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B of A Moves to Dismiss Counsel for AIG

Continuing its legal wrangling with American International Group, Inc., Bank of America Corp. has filed a motion to dismiss Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan as the company's counsel for AIG's $10 billion lawsuit against the financial institution. In its move to disqualify the firm, BAC cited conflict of interest due to partner Marc Becker's previous involvement with the bank's chosen law firm, Munger, Tolles & Olson.

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Plummeting Loan Applications Hit 15-Year Low

Rising mortgage rates led to 15-year lows for mortgage application volume last week, with lower purchases following uncertain macroeconomic activity and a rush to rentals by prospective first-time homebuyers. In releasing the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the Mortgage Bankers Association found purchase applications plunging by 8.8 percent from the week earlier ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the lowest on record since 1996. The trade group reported declines in overall loan volume by 14.9 percent on both a seasonally adjusted and seasonally unadjusted basis.

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Housing Starts Leapfrog Forecasts by 15% in September

Beating forecasts for lower-than-expected housing starts, builders put up 15 percent more new homes on a seasonally adjusted basis than predicted in September, the most since April 2010. The hitch: Multifamily residential construction drove the numbers. The Commerce Department reported that housing starts in September rose above August estimates for 572,000 units, hitting an annual 658,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Analysts speaking with MReport say the surge will not sustain itself in the months and years ahead.

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