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BofA Sells Mortgage Rights to Fannie Mae

In an endeavor to get ahead of mortgage-related woes from the financial crisis, mortgage giant Bank of America has offered to sell a chunk of its mortgage portfolio servicing rights to GSE Fannie Mae, according to the Wall Street Journal. The sale of bad loan rights to the government entity may shift new bulk onto federal balance sheets at a time when the GSE recently posted second-quarter losses and announced plans to petition the government for more taxpayer funds.

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FBI: Mortgage Fraud Activity Up in 2010

Fraud

More brokers, loan officers, realtors, and others defrauded lenders, servicers, and homeowners over 2010 despite improving conditions in the housing market at large, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which released a comprehensive report Friday. Mortgage fraud cases and investigations amounted to 3,129 cases over the year, 12 percent more than in 2009 and some 90 percent above the same trends in 2008. Referencing CoreLogic, the FBI said that applicants fraudulently filed some $12 billion in loan applications last year.

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Investors Rush to Scoop Up GSE Mortgage Debt

While Treasury yields plummeted on low notes sounded by investors over panicked markets, recently downgraded GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to see spikes in interest from investors over their mortgage-backed debt. The Financial Times attributes the investor rush to the market bonanza created by the Federal Reserve, which decided Tuesday to keep interest rates at historically low levels until 2013. Some analysts say the investor rush to agency debt could crimp financing for U.S. federal debt and potentially frustrate mortgage rates.

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Super Committee May Axe Home Benefits, Agency Debt

On the heels of Standard & Poor's controversial downgrades for U.S. debt ratings, Congress passed the deficit reduction axe to a bipartisan, six-member "super-committee" for each chamber, with both parties finally naming lawmakers to the commission Thursday. Capitol watchers say important housing laws and provisions may await the congressional guillotine, with the mortgage tax rate deduction, mortgage debt, and other housing-related giveaways in line. The appointments follow a recent deduction-slashing proposal.

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AG Activiates IPO Capital

Putting capital earned from its recent initial public offering to good use, AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., announced that it has achieved significant deployment of its new liquidity. The company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós IPO and simultaneous private placement were concurrently completed on July 6, and by utilizing the capital gained in that transaction as well as the underwriters├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó overallotment option, established and closed on July 20, AG has also been able to debut its initial portfolio.

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Fidelity and PSMI Make Merger Official

Fidelity Mortgage, Inc. has new ownership. PSM Holdings, Inc., recently announced the completion of its acquisition, which fuses Fidelity with United Community Mortgage Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Prime Source Mortgage, Inc., via its parent company, PSMH.

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Fourteen Indicted Over $58M Mortgage Fraud Payout

Nine brokers and five lawyers will face prosecution over their alleged role in a $58 million mortgage fraud scheme that banked on 100 loans across New York City and three state counties. According to a Thursday statement, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and Federal Bureau of Investigation stepped up with a five-count indictment against the defendants. Starting in 2004, Gerard Canino and co-conspirators allegedly closed deals for distressed properties by going through sham buyers and attorneys.

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Stocks Surge After Fed Decides to Keep Interest Rates Low

Fed

Citing recent trouble on Wall Street, anemic job growth, and lags in the housing economy, the Federal Reserve made public that it will keep interest rates at historically low levels until 2013. The new language marks a market-rallying policy shift for the central bank, which previously kept mum about when it would hike up interest rates. A 429-point jump by the Dow followed a Federal Open Market Committee meeting in which the Fed's decision-makers reportedly failed to reach a consensus on interest rates.

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