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Senior Home Equity Went Up $30B in Q4: NRMLA

Senior home equity went up by $30 billion in the fourth quarter last year, leaving senior homeowners to account for $3.22 trillion in equity, according to a recent report. The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association collaborated with Risk Span to release the Reverse Mortgage Market Index. The results? The reverse mortgage market is stabilizing, according to the index, which registered 153.48 in the fourth quarter, up 0.9 percent from the third quarter.

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Genpact Launches New MOS Platform

The mortgage industry is gaining a new technology tool targeting streamlined loan processing for originators and lenders. Launching the Quantum Mortgage Operation System, Genpact Limited is now offering a platform for real estate and banking professionals. Genpact, a technology company specializing in business processing and management solutions, will provide automation for major elements of the mortgage origination cycle through Quantum. In an official statement, Genpact noted that the platform's use of data eliminates the silos between origination, closing and secondary marketing, enabling lenders to work on each loan file simultaneously.

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New Corporate Director Appointed at ISGN

In Florida, ISGN Corporation has announced the appointment of a new director of corporate technology strategy. ISGN, an end-to-end technology solutions and services provider for the mortgage industry, recently hired Tim Anderson to the leadership role.

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Existing-Home Sales Fall in March for Second Straight Month

Existing-home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million in March from a downwardly revised February rate of 4.60 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. Economists had forecast the March sales pace would be 4.62 million. At the same time, the median price of a new home rose to $163,800, its highest level since last November's $164,000 and up 2.5 percent since March 2011, the first price increase since December 2010.

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Initial Unemployment Dip But Remain Elevated

First time claims for unemployment insurance remained over 380,000 for the second straight week for the week ended April 14, the Labor Department reported Thursday, the highest levels of the year. According to the report there were 386,000 initial claims, down from the revised 388,000 one week earlier The prior week├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós report was adjusted upward by 8,000 Economists had expected initial claims would decrease (from the original report) to 365,000.

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Home Prices Climb 5.8% Year-Over-Year: RE/MAX

Home prices rose year-over-year on average for the second straight month, according to RE/MAX. Of 53 metro areas surveyed by the real estate company, RE/MAX found that median prices climbed 5.8 percent higher than in March last year. Home sales moved in the same direction by cresting 25.4 percent higher than in February, a shift upward year-over-year by 1.5 percent. The company chalked up the good news for prices and sales to improvements in weather, low interest rates, and better home prices.

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Debt Crises Inspire 6.9% Pick-Up in Loan Volume: MBA

Debt crises in Europe spurred a wave of refinance applications last week, leading mortgage loan applications to tick up by 6.9 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group found that mortgage loan application volume went up 6.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before. The Refinance Index edged up 13.5 percent from the week before, with the refinance share of mortgage activity increasing to 75.2 percent of the share of total activity.

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Provident Bank Appoints New Commercial Banking Leader

In Rockland County, New York, Provident Bank is welcoming a new leader for its commercial banking team. The company, a subsidiary of Provident New York Bancorp, recently announced Marianne McGoldrick as the firm's senior managing director of commercial banking. In her new role for Provident Bank, McGoldrick will handle team leadership for building and cultivating commercial relationships. Prior to joining the company, McGoldrick served as the vice president and senior relationship manager for HSBC's middle market portfolio in the Hudson Valley region.

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Zillow Adds Agent Hub to Online Offerings

Rolling out a new online platform for real estate agents, Zillow, Inc., recently announced the launch of Agent Hub. Zillow's tool will give users a place to find and manage information from the website in one location. Additionally, the CRM platform automatically saves leads and connections accrued via Zillow, allowing agents to make individual notations and track high-priority contacts. Other benefits provided through Agent Hub include an analytics dashboard for monitoring listings and agent profiles and metrics.

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Cleveland Fed Forecasts Uncertainty for Nation’s Fiscal Future

Fed

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has released its spring Forefront report addressing the budget shortfalls throughout the U.S. Examining the risk that weakening public finances have on specific regions of the country, the Cleveland Fed is forecasting an uncertain future for the country's financial stability. The pension funds, which would deliver a shock to the broader financial system upon failure, appear more stable than previous reports have suggested. The bank evaluated bank capital requirements and tax system tradeoffs.

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