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Blueberry Launches New Point-of-Sale Solution

Technology company Blueberry Systems, LLC, is launching a new product, with the introduction of its integrated point-of-sale solution, dubbed Embark. Through the platform, Blueberry will enable users of the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós RELAY loan origination module to access a complete, end-to-end system for loan applications.

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CredAbility’s Q3 Consumer Distress Index Shows Declines

CredAbility has released its third-quarter findings, and the news is less than ideal. The company's consumer distress index displayed the most significant drop in consumer financial health on record since 2008, largely due to increases in mortgage delinquencies, late payments by renters, and an uptick in housing expenses. Citing rising pricing for food, gasoline, and other necessities coupled with the increase in under-employment, CredAbility's final evaluation of distress among U.S. households totaled 66.7 on the company's 100-point scale.

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Mortgage Application Volume Plummets 10%: MBA

With homeowners largely staying on the sidelines, mortgage application volume underwent a seasonally adjusted 10-percent squeeze last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. In releasing the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the trade group found that declines overwhelmingly led most of the survey components. The MBA found the Market Composite Index declining by 19.6 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis from the week before.

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Homebuilder Confidence Highest Since 2010: NAHB

Homebuilder confidence shot up over November, revisiting a high previously seen in May 2010, according to a recent index. The National Association of Home Builders released a monthly housing market index in association with Wells Fargo that tracks homebuilder sentiment about the market by quantifying it on a 100-point index. The index found a three-point lead on 17 from October, boosting homebuilder confidence in the single-family home market to 20 points, last seen more than a year ago. The surge in confidence nevertheless remains below average.

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Report: FHA Could Require Bailout by Next Year

The Federal Housing Administration submitted an annual actuarial report to Congress Tuesday that suggests diminishing returns from a fledgling growth strategy could lead the agency to a taxpayer-funded bailout next year. The reason why? The FHA currently fails to meet a 2-percent capital reserve ratio mandated by federal law, with cash reserves on hand falling to less than an eighth below the required threshold. The report said that cash reserves on hand fell accordingly from $4.7 billion last year to $2.6 billion over 2011. Estimates predict that it could require $50 billion.

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GSE Leaders Address Bonuses, Profits Before Congress

The GSEs are making headlines, with Fannie Mae's CEO appearing before Congress to address the entity's possible profitability and Freddie Mac's CEO providing testimony on the controversial executive bonuses within the organization. Both leaders spoke to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to field questions regarding various aspects of Fannie and Freddie's practices and financial standing. The high-profile hearing follows considerable outcry by lawmakers over $13 million in bonuses for 10 senior-level executives.

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SunTrust Transitions Board Leadership

SunTrust Banks, Inc., has announced a new chairman for its board of directors, naming the company's president and CEO to the position. William H. Rogers, Jr., who has served as president and CEO of SunTrust since June, will take over as chairman of the board on January 1.

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Fixed-Rate Mortgages Still Popular with Consumers: Freddie

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Fixed-rate mortgages remained largely popular with consumers over the third quarter, according to Freddie Mac, despite the willingness by some lawmakers and policymakers to part ways with the loan product. The GSE found that more refinancing borrowers opted to contract their mortgage terms over the course of the second quarter. Forty percent of borrowers with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage exchanged their old products for 15- and 20-year mortgages, topping off the most such since 2003, Freddie found.

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New General Counsel Announced for ServiceLink

ServiceLink has appointed a new general counsel, with the announcement that Donald Blanchard will join the company. The end-to-end origination provider plans to capitalize on Blanchard's experience in corporate, contract, and real estate law to enhance their legal support.

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Bank of America’s CEO on a GSE-Free Future

The current complexion of the national housing market is prompting Bank of America Corp. to focus on new lending measures, including taking steps toward facilitating loans that are not backed by the government-sponsored enterprises. BofA's CEO Brian Moynihan highlighted future initiatives from the financial institution during his speech at the BofA Merrill Lynch conference in New York recently, and his remarks revealed the bank's key interest in pursuing changes related to the influx of investor cash into real estate markets around the country.

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