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Home Prices Fell 0.8% in October: LPS

Home prices ticked down on average by 0.8 percent in October, reaching $200,000 and marking the fifth straight month for declines for industry figures, according to Lender Processing Services. In releasing the national home price index, the analytics provider also said that November may have fielded about 0.5 percent in home prices declines. The new numbers for home prices follow ongoing declines from 2006, at which time U.S. housing inventory amounted to $10.6 trillion ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and since fell to $7.5 trillion.

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AFR Appoints New National Sales Director

Mortgage lender American Financial Resources, Inc., has added a new national sales director. AFR recently announced the appointment of Paul Impagliazzo to the position, and he will now be responsible for the company's wholesale and correspondent lending divisions.

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New CIO for Mortgage Contracting Services

Mortgage Contracting Services has appointed a new chief information officer, with the announcement that Tod Phelps will join the firm. In his role for the company, Phelps will be responsible for developing new strategies for all information technology initiatives.

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Veros Approves SharperLending for UCDP Integration

Gaining industry approval, SharperLending LLC has announced that Veros Real Estate Solutions confirmed its appraisal firewall platform for integration with the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP). SharperLending released its appraisal firewall interface to the UCDP on December 10, and Veros has now declared the web-based program operationally ready for submissions.

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Generation Mortgages Selects Tech Provider

Mortgage Cadence, LLC, has been selected by Generation Mortgage Company to replace the company's current lending system. Generation will begin using Mortgage Cadence's Orchestrator, Finale Document Services, and Opus systems to gain enhanced end-to-end support for its mortgage lending business.

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Vertical Capital Launches New Mortgage-Based Fund

Vertical Capital Markets Group has announced the debut of the mortgage-based Vertical Capital Income Fund. Targeting the development of a quality portfolio of mortgages for investors, Vertical's newly launched project seeks to capitalize on low-priced loans.

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Zillow Sees New Record Lows for Mortgage Rates

Interest rates for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage smashed new records for Zillow, which reported current rates falling as low as 3.71 percent, the lowest in survey history for the real estate Web site. Zillow found the newest numbers for mortgage rates with Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, which it sources from anonymous quotes and releases weekly. The 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to new lows from 3.73 percent seen last week, and hovered at rates as low as 3.67 percent Monday morning. Zillow reported rates for 15-year loans falling to 3.03 percent.

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MBS Cases Drive Q3 Mortgage Litigation: Study

A surge in suits involving mortgage-backed securities propelled litigation cases for mortgage servicers to 218 over the third quarter last year, according to a recent index. Mortgage-backed securities litigation rose by 36 cases over the third quarter, up from 26 seen from the last quarter and just 12 in the third quarter 2010. Foreclosure-related suits also went up from 67 in the second quarter to 90 in the third quarter, followed shortly by litigation from investors, which leapt from 50 to 82 over the same time frame.

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Markets Lift With Job Growth, Home Prices, Permits

Job growth, appreciating home prices, and fewer scuttled single-family housing permits helped improve 76 housing markets over the last six months, according to an index released Monday. The National Association of Home Builders and First American Title Insurance Company released a joint index to measure improving markets against these criteria. Cities that made the index included Dallas, Des Moines, and Jacksonville, with Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, and Texas garnering the most of any states in improving markets.

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Americans Feel More Confident About Housing: Survey

Consumer sentiment climbed higher last month despite historically low conditions, with Americans by and large feeling more optimistic about housing, according to Fannie Mae. In conducting its December National Housing Survey, the GSE polled 1,000 respondents with questions about the economy and housing conditions at large. The big picture? More Americans expect a better New Year for their financial circumstances, higher home prices and mortgage rates, and steadily improving conditions for the housing market. Sixty-four percent reported wanting to buy their next home.

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