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Housing Markets Mixed as Debt Talks Splinter

As splintering debt-ceiling negotiations unnerved analysts and ratings agencies, Treasury yields and mortgage rates remained relatively stable over the weekend, reflecting a widespread consensus among investors and market watchers that partisan divisions would soon give way to a grand bargain between policymakers. CNN reported Sunday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) refused to agree to a set of conditions at the White House, ending dramatic four-month-long negotiations.

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Fannie Forecasts Declines Over 2011, 2012

Fannie Mae released a July economic outlook Friday tying a slowdown in the economy at large to a sluggish pace in the housing sector a consequence of tight credit, a dearth in existing-home sales, and weak gains across important industries. The mortgage giant predicted a dip in growth over the rest of the year, falling from 2.8 percent to 2.4 percent. Besides restrained credit expansion, the tepid housing recovery is another reason for the modest pace of economic growth seen in the current recovery, Fannie said in the report.

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Mortgage Numbers Up for Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp had a great spring season, judging by the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós scorching second quarter numbers. The bank estimates its quarterly results were the best on record since 2007, and the dramatic, 58 percent increase in mortgage banking revenue between the first and second quarters of this year contributed heavily to the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós recent success. Total net income during Fifth Third's second quarter was $337 million, demonstrating a significant rise quarter-over-quarter.

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BancTec Boasts New Platform

BancTec has rolled out an advanced mortgage servicing platform, geared toward new and existing lenders in need of accelerated and streamlined customer support, with considerable advantages for new users.

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Bankrate, Freddie Mac Post Conflicting Rates

On Thursday Bankrate and Freddie Mac released reports with varying conclusions about mortgage rates for this week, with the former posting a slight dip in 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and the GSE reporting few changes from last week. Publishing its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac yielded a 4.52 percent with an average 0.7 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, a nominal increase from last week when the same rates lingered at 4.51 percent.

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Analysts: U.S. Default May Crimp GSEs, Close FHA

With recent reports signaling a throwback for public officials involved in debt-ceiling negotiations, housing analysts and market watchers worry about the possible fallout for government-backed mortgages in a default scenario come August. If the federal government defaults on its debt, analysts say, still-brittle mortgage markets will splinter as mortgage rates follow spikes in Treasury yields. Concerns continue to grow after a series of breakdowns between Congress and the White House.

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MBA: Refis and Mortgage Applications Jump

On Wednesday the Mortgage Bankers Association released its weekly survey, showing jumps in mortgage applications by 15.5 percent and by 23.1 percent in refinances, respectively, from the previous week. According to the survey, mortgage loan application volume went up over 15 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, with a steady increase by 43 percent. According to the survey, mortgage loan application volume went up over 15 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, with a steady increase by 43.9 percent on an unadjusted basis from the week earlier.

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GAO Analyzes Risk-Retention Rule

On Tuesday the Government Accountability Office added to fears over rising mortgage rates by releasing a new report that casts concern on the role risk retention will play in the markets. A provision in the Dodd-Frank Act obligates the GAO to perform an economic impact analysis, making the report a timely one since it arrives on the heels of outcry from trade and industry associations. It added that mortgage-related provisions in Dodd-Frank would prescribe "tradeoffs" between additional consumer financial protection and a needed expansion in credit supply.

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NAR: June Existing-Home Sales Saunter Back

Despite a forward leap by prices, a surge in contract cancellations led to a sudden easing in existing-home sales over June, according to a National Association of Realtors report. Analysts at the trade association placed blame for the lax numbers at the feet of wary lenders and continuing economic uncertainties. According to the report, upward-bound sales across regions like the South and Midwest contrasted with dips in the Northwest and Northeast, alongside a steadily slacking condo sector.

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