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Commercial Sector Forecasts Show Uptick in 2012

The commercial real estate market in the U.S. appears set for an uptick in 2012, but don't expect a headline-making rise. According to recent research from Jones Lang LaSalle, economic indicators are pointing to a modest improvement in the commercial segment, and data from the company also reveals that rumors of a double dip in the sector during the coming year were premature. Numbers from the survey call for an increase in total transaction volume of 15 to 20 percent.

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NAHB Criticizes Mortgage-Fee Raise in Payroll Tax

At least one key trade group opposes plans by some lawmakers to introduce a raise for mortgage fees in a payroll tax extension. Congress is essentially proposing to raise taxes on millions of potential home buyers in order to pay for a payroll tax cut and other non-housing legislative initiatives, NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen said in a statement. Lawmakers are busy cobbling together a payroll tax plan this week that would extend current rates for employees and their employers.

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DebtX Announces Sale of $334M in Non-Performing Loans

DebtX announced Monday that it is now the exclusive agent for a sale involving $334 million in loans from a real estate fund that collapsed and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In a statement, the company said that loans involved in the sale primarily involve Acquisition, Development and Construction loans backed by land from nine U.S. states. Eighteen loans will go for sale. This includes tens of millions of dollars in non-performing loans from California and Wyoming.

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Five Mortgage Fraudsters Make Monday Fraud Blotter

Joining a list of other mortgage fraudsters Monday, three Cleveland residents received jail time for their role in a multi-million-dollar scheme while two others in Maryland and Virginia saw their names in fine print over $700,000 in fraud. Home went into foreclosure as a result of much of the alleged crimes. MReport collected the stories from a bevy of news sources that include the FBI and a Cleveland news outlet. This comes on the heels of other mortgage fraud activity as it increases nationally.

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Online Mortgage Resource Promises 24-Hour Quotes

Borrowers using Mortgage Lenders USA will now have the advantage of faster quotes when seeking a mortgage. The company announced recently that it would initiate a 24-hours or less policy in extending a mortgage quote to inquiring parties.

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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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