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Flagstar Completes Sale of Georgia Bank Branches

In Georgia, Flagstar Bancorp has officially sold its 27-branch retail bank franchise to PNC Bank, N.A. The deal, which was announced earlier this year, has reached its conclusion, and PNC Bank will now take possession of all leases associated with the locations, as well as all associated business and retail deposits. The purchase agreement for its Georgia locations follows Flagstar's December sell off of its Indiana branches. The total number of bank franchises sold stands at 49.

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Kingpin, Married Couple Make Mortgage Fraud Blotter

Courts across the country slapped defendants with charges over mortgage fraud this week, as a title agent, her husband, and a Brockton man received charges and a so-called kingpin from New York saw the next four to 12 years of his life consigned to prison. MReport culled stories from multiple news outlets to deliver the mortgage fraud blotter Friday for the past week. Acts of wire fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft populated the accounts of defendants and convicts alike.

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Independent Mortgage Bankers Double Q3 Profit: MBA

Brokers and loan officers with independent mortgage banks and subsidiaries saw profit margins for their loans more than double on average over the last quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group released its findings in the Third Quarter 2011 Mortgage Bankers Performance Report, which it drummed up with production data reports from fewer than 300 companies. The MBA reported that loan originations averaged $1,263 over the third quarter.

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MBA Opposes Mortgage Servicing Compensation Changes

The Mortgage Bankers Association made clear in letter Thursday that it opposes any proposed changes to the existing way mortgage servicers receive compensation. The letter addresses recent moves by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to open up market share for servicers by reducing their risk, granting more flexibility to guarantors on non-performing loans, and shoring up liquidity in the to-be-announced market. The MBA recommended a cash reserve structure in lieu of compensation changes.

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Housing Ranks Only Behind Jobs for Voters: Survey

Does housing matter to voters? A recent survey says yes ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and finds that housing policy will rank higher for voters than even national security come 2012. Houselogic.com, a consumer Web site affiliated with the National Association of Realtors, polled respondents across the country for the HouseLogic survey it released Friday. About one-third of all voters want to hear proposals from presidential candidates that address housing policy. Jobs and unemployment ranked first.

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StreetLinks to SCORe with System Update

Just in time for bowl season, StreetLinks Lender Solutions has released an updated version of SCORe, the company's appraisal review product. The original incarnation of SCORe was launched in 2010 to provide a solution for the validation of comparable within appraisal documents, and the platform expansion will include the addition of a repurchase and loss warranty with each report.

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Mortgage Rates Largely Unchanged This Week. Again

Mortgage rates remained largely unchanged this week as debt crises in Europe drag on, with finance leaders and heads of state there seemingly unable to broker a solution. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac and finance Web site Bankrate.com each released separate surveys chronicling lurches in interest rates for loans. Bankrate.com also fielded record lows for jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, with rates for the loan falling to 4.68 percent for the first time in the history of the survey.

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November 2011 Housing Scorecard Revealed

The results are in from the November 2011 Housing Scorecard. In addition to the report's traditional look at the country├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós real estate and mortgage markets, the most recent survey also closely examined the nation's 10 largest mortgage servicers participating in the Making Home Affordable Program, to promote transparency related to the platform's performance.

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Senate Republicans Block CFPB Nominee Cordray

Senate Republicans stood by their 44-member pledge Thursday by blocking a vote scheduled for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director-nominee Richard Cordray. Fifty-three votes fell below the 60-vote threshold needed to move the full Senate toward a vote to either confirm or reject the former Ohio attorney general, without whom the CFPB is unable to exert the array of powers granted it to supervise nonbank financial institutions. Forty-four Republicans pledged earlier to deny a director.

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New EVP for Digital Risk

Digital Risk has added a new executive vice president for its sales and strategy sector, with the announcement that Randy Lightbody will take over the position. Through hiring Lightbody, Digital Risk hopes to continue its pattern of growth and boost its support for services and originators.

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