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Layoffs Fall to Record Low in January


The number of layoffs fell 4.0 percent to 1,507,000 in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release. The layoff total was the smallest since the JOLTS reports began in December 2000.

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Fed Governor: Consumer Protections May Come with a Cost

As the industry prepares to implement the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) new ability-to-repay rules, Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke warns new consumer protections may come at a cost to the industry as lower-quality-credit borrowers are precluded from the housing market. As the broader economy continues to improve, household formation will increase, according to Duke, "but if credit is hard to get, these will be rental rather than owner-occupied households."

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Fitch: Recent Prime Borrowers Prepaying at Rapid Rates

According to Fitch Ratings, prime RMBS mortgage pools issued since 2010 had an average conditional prepayment rate (CPR) of about 42 percent, more than twice as fast as the rates of outstanding prime loans securitized in earlier vintages. Generally speaking, Fitch explained high refinance activity tends lead to more "performance volatility" since loans remaining in mortgage pools are usually of poorer quality. However, Fitch is seeing a different trend this time around.

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GMH Hires SVP of National Sales


GMH Mortgage Services LLC, a nationally recognized mortgage banker headquartered in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, announced a new hire. Frank DiMaio joined the company as SVP of national retail sales.

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Georgia Bank Shuts Down, 2013 Tally Inches Up to 4

FDIC announced Friday the closure of Frontier Bank, based in LaGrange, Georgia. Frontier Bank mark's Georgia's first bank failure in 2013 and is the nation's fourth failure overall this year. By the same time in 2012, there had been 12 bank collapses.

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Commentary: Go With the Flow

According to the Flow of Funds report for Q4 2012, household assets grew to $79.5 trillion in the fourth quarter, an increase of $1.3 trillion--not too shabby. Household financial assets were up $784 billion to $54.4 billion but home equity (the value of household real estate less loans against that real estate) grew $452.8 billion, the result of two moving parts: real estate values (which increased) and household mortgage liabilities, which dropped. Once the dust settled, it meant equity in household real estate assets moved to 46.6 percent in the Q4.

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