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Record-Low Mortgage Rates Ring In New Year

Uncertainty in the markets helped ring in the New Year with record lows for mortgage rates, as concerns over debt crises and job growth lingered for wary investors. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage company Freddie Mac released their findings for mortgage rates Thursday in two separate weekly surveys. Bankrate.com reported interest rates for the 30-year loan hitting a record 4.18 percent this week, down from 4.21 percent last week. Freddie likewise found rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sliding from 3.95 percent last week to 3.91 percent this week.

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New Division, New Name for NewDay Financial

Ushering in the new year with a name change, NewDay Financial has announced that it will now officially be known as NewDay USA LLC. The updated moniker was added in order to better identify with the company's client base, according to a statement from NewDay USA.

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New Year Begins With New Mortgage Fraud Cases

Juries around the country resolved to start the New Year with an effort to clean up allegations of mortgage fraud, with several business owners, Realtors, attorneys, and others accused of complicity and direct involvement in millions of dollars of fraud. A few news outlets delivered stories for the latest in MReport's mortgage fraud blotter, with 18 indictments against a business owner in Colorado and numerous other charges against a group of brokers, Realtors, and others in Florida.

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Mortgage Applications Fall 3.7%: MBA

Mortgage application volume fell 3.7 percent in mid-December, reflecting a rebound from sharper declines seen during the same time last year. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the findings in releasing its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, which it adjusted to account for the holidays. The MBA├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan applications, saw total volume tick up by 39 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a higher number for the last few weeks of December 2011 on a year-over-year basis. Mortgage applications fell modestly in comparison last year.

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President, CEO Swap at PHH Corp.

An executive shake-up is underway at PHH Corp. The company's president and CEO, Jerome Selitto, recently announced his resignation, and simultaneously, PHH moved to appoint Glen Messina to the position. Messina, who has acted as PHH├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós chief operating officer since July 20ll, has previously been the chief financial officer and CEO for the mortgage division of General Electric Co. The personnel swap follows negative ratings and estimates for PHH; the company's stock has dropped by 25 percent during the past month and is down 45 percent from numbers seen six months ago.

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Army Veteran Gets New Home Courtesy of GMAC

One Army veteran is enjoying a happy start to 2012, thanks to an important gift bestowed by GMAC Mortgage, LLC.The company recently donated a newly renovated home to a First Sergeant who was wounded overseas while serving the country in 2005. GMAC confirmed that the recipient of the property is 1st Sgt.

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New Law Will Investigate FDIC’s Role in Bank Failures

The New Year began without any bank failures, but one new law will task the FDIC inspector general with checking the books to see if the agency helped exacerbate failures in 2011. The House voted Tuesday to pass a bill amended by the Senate and reconciled by both chambers in December that will compel investigations by the FDIC and Government Accountability Office. Once it becomes law, the bill will call for studies into whether the FDIC├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós loss-share agreements helped accelerate bank failures last year.

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ARC Adds New SVP of Debt Initiatives

Investment advisory firm American Realty Capital is welcoming a new senior vice president to start the new year, with the announcement that Andrew Winer will join the company as its leader of strategic debt initiatives. In joining the company, Winer will handle advisory services for multiple ARC partners, as well as facilitating the development of corporate lines of credit for the company's investment programs.

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Titan and PHH Team Up on Fulfillment

It's a match for Titan Lenders Corp. and PHH Mortgage Corporation. The two companies recently announced the initiation of a strategic partnership, and through the collaboration, PHH Mortgage will gain access to Titan's fulfillment outsourcing services.

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FOMC’s November Minutes Reflect Euro Crisis Concerns

Fed

With the euro zone crisis deepening, members of the Federal Open Market Committee elected to stay the course in November by keeping interest rates historically low and pooling investments from agency debt into agency mortgage-backed securities. Minutes framed discussions around concerns about weakening confidence in the markets as a result of any potential default by euro zone nations, even while the U.S. economy signaled that it would continue climbing out of the financial crisis. Europe helped rattle markets and compel the Fed's action in 2011.

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