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New CEO, Chairman of the Board for SISCO

Stewart Information Services Corp. (SISCO) is shaking up its corporate leadership, with the recent announcement that Matthew W. Morris will take over as the company's CEO. Replacing his father, Malcolm S. Morris, and his cousin, Stewart Morris, Jr., as co-CEOs for the entity, Matt is being promoted from an executive role within SISCO.

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Mortgage Rates Plunge Amid Euro Zone Trouble

After inching forward in the last few weeks, mortgage rates again plummeted on fresh concerns about the euro zone crisis, with rates dropping to 4.00 percent, the second-lowest reading for Freddie Mac. The GSE released a weekly survey alongside finance Web site Bankrate. Freddie reported the 30-year loan falling from 4.24 percent recorded last week, not a far cry from the 10-percentage point plunge to 4.23 percent from 4.33 percent that Bankrate.com recorded. Investor confidence shot up after Europe agreed to bail out Greece.

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Zillow: Homebuyers Setting Unrealistic Expectations

A new survey from Zillow: reveals that prospective homebuyers may have an overly optimistic view when it comes to their expectations related to property appreciation and housing value. In the website├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós recent poll, more than 42 percent of those that plan on purchasing a home in the near future said they anticipated a 7 percent annual increase in their property value during their ownership period.

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New National Sales Exec for First Valuation

Collateral valuation services provider First Valuation has found a new national sales executive in Brandon O'Briant. While remaining based in Dallas, Texas, O'Briant will apply his 15 years of experience in the mortgage industry to managing First Vaulation's current clients and establishing partnerships on behalf of the company.

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Mortgage Applications Inch Forward Amid Market Uncertainty

application

As mortgage rates rose, then fell on a debt deal in Europe, mortgage application volume also crept forward last week, with the uncertain economy and high unemployment forcing homeowners to stay on the sidelines. In releasing a weekly survey, the Mortgage Bankers Association found mortgage applications on a seasonally adjusted curve upward to 0.2 percent from the week before. Refinance activity fell on the whole as purchases, still near historic lows, remained overwhelmingly near bottom, the MBA said.

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BB&T Scoops Up BankAtlantic, Scrimps on Bad Assets

BB&T looked southward to acquire Florida-based BankAtlantic Tuesday, assuming $3.3 billion in low-cost deposits and picking up 78 branches from the retail lender in the process, according to statements released by the companies. The move ranks BB&T ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô one of the largest U.S. banks by assets ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the sixth largest franchise in the Miami market. The North Carolina-based acquirer will pay $301 million above the premium price for the deposits and branches, plus $2.1 billion in performing loans. The acquisition is also another move up for the bank.

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NewDay Exec Added to Chrysalis Board of Directors

Chrysalis Holdings, LLC, has added a new member to its board of directors, with the announcement that Maylene Tan Khieu will join the company's leadership. Khieu is the chief credit officer and senior vice president of compliance for NewDay Financial, LLC, which is a key holding for Chrysalis.

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PulteGroup, Zillow To Give Away Luxury Home

Real estate website Zillow and housing heavyweight PulteGroup, Inc. are teaming up to give away a luxury home worth $350,000. The "I Want a New Home Sweepstakes" will change the life of one aspiring homeowner.

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CoreLogic: HARP 2.0 Will Help GSEs, Homeowners

Modifications in line for the Home Affordable Refinance Program from the Obama administration will buoy homeowners with negative equity and origination markets, but field few other benefits for investors in mortgage-backed securities, according to a new outlook. Analytics provider CoreLogic released a statement Monday demarcating HARP├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós benefits and problem areas, skewering assertions that the program will alleviate a chronic lack of demand and showing that economic troubles may persist despite government assistance.

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Bank Shares Plunge as Euro Bonds Infect MF Global

Multiple news reports faulted MF Global with fallout for stocks and shares among major lenders Monday as the New York Federal Reserve delisted the embattled securities firm. The Dow Jones industrial average spun into a 276-point tailspin to hit 11,955 points by end of day, taking with it the shares for several mortgage lenders that lifted last week when European leaders announced a bailout package for debt-ridden Greece. At least one news outlet said the downfall of MF Global lent credibility to the Volcker Rule.

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