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Major Mortgage Insurers See Margins Slip: MICA Report

In bad news for mortgage insurers, the big four U.S. companies saw their profit margins shrink year-over-year by more than a quarter in September, according to the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America. Insurers underwrote $4.9 billion in risk for mortgage lenders last month, substantially down from $6.9 billion in profit recorded by the trade group in September last year. The uptick in reported profit and underwritten policies reflects a series of ongoing problems for the industry at large.

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Big Four Release Earnings, Citing Economy, Litigation

Litigation fees, bold restructuring moves, and new regulation helped shape earnings figures over the third quarter for the nation's largest lenders and financial institutions in October. Along with numerous other banking holding companies and investment firms, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo released their reports to the media and investors over the past two weeks. The results: more mortgage lenders continue to exit the business, while financial institutions stepped up the public debate against onerous regulations.

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AHSMI Chooses Oracle for Online Enhancement

American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. (AHSMI) is taking advantage of a new way to ensure compliant, efficient collaboration with its partners. The company recently announced that it would begin using Oracle's WebCenter solutions to manage business processes for all mortgage-related activities with participating third-party loan investors.

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Weichert Turns To Tech for GSE Compliance

Weichert Financial Services is investing in technology, with the recent announcement that the company would begin utilizing a platform from InHouse Inc. to enhance its appraisal processing. Choosing InHouse to facilitate data delivery, Weichert is set to take advantage of fully integrated processing for management of its appraisal-related activities.

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OCC: Volcker Rule Will Cost Banks $1B to Comply

The recently proposed Volcker Rule will sap nearly $1 billion in revenue from the nation's banks as lenders spend more time, resources, and manpower complying with regulations, according to a recent government study. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency estimated that the rule as drafted by the FDIC, Federal Reserve, and other federal authorities will result in expenditures totaling $100 million for state, local, and other governments. The rule continues to stir controversy following its proposal earlier this month.

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Bank Shares Soar on Europe’s Grand Debt Bargain

Bank shares lifted in the enthusiastic market response to news that European Union states reached a grand bargain to save the euro, but analysts speaking with MReport pare jubilation with forecasts for fewer refinance applications and home purchases. After two years of time spent in a debt crisis, European leaders cobbled together a third bailout measure to salvage debt-ridden Greece and prevent further peril for the continent├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós common currency.

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FHFA: Fannie, Freddie May Need $142B More in Taxpayer Funds

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released projections Thursday that showed the GSEs may need anywhere from $51 billion to $142 billion more taxpayer funds over the next few years, even as one Republican lawmaker offered a plan that would siphon federal support for the companies. The scenarios show that the companies will ultimately need to withdraw anywhere from $220 billion to $311 billion from the federal government, a lower estimate for forecasts that originally fixed their needs at anywhere from $221 billion to $363 billion.

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Mortgage Rates Unchanged from Week Earlier

Mortgage rates largely remained near historic lows from the week earlier, reflecting a sense of uncertainty that continues to persist among wary homebuyers. Bankrate.com denoted a new low for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which fell from 4.38 percent last week to crest at 4.33 percent this week. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage giant Freddie Mac polled financial institutions and the like in their weekly surveys. Freddie differed by few turns, signaling the loss of one percentage point this week.

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Morgan Stanley Rolls Out New Global Division

Despite its complicated moniker, Morgan Stanley's newly formed Financial Institutions Group Global Capital Markets team has a simple mission - to help banks around the globe navigate financial and capital challenges. The advisory division will target organizations worldwide, offering strategies, underwriting, and decision-point support for clients. Morgan Stanley's Shyam Parekh will head up the FIG division out of London, and New York-based Kevin Ryan and Taylor Wright will round out the leadership.

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Kansas Bank Boosts Borrower’s Tech Options

National Bank of Kansas City is adding to its arsenal of technology tools. Recently announcing that it will now utilize DocuSign├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós eSignature platform to enhance all aspects of mortgage processing, the financial institution will be able to boost borrower├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós integration into loan procedures.

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