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Fidelity Bank Hires New Mortgage Leader

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Fidelity Bank has hired a new leader for its mortgage division with the addition of John M. Pruitt. Charged with full management of the financial institutions mortgage services, Pruitt will join the bank's Atlanta headquarters. Boasting more than 26 years of retail mortgage experience, Pruitt has been in previous executive positions with various companies in the mortgage industry.

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CoreLogic Survey Shows Moderately Positive Q2 Data

CoreLogic has released second-quarter numbers that shed some positive light on struggling markets. The company's most recent survey indicates that negative equity is on the decline in some of the most affected areas, and additional results show that many homeowners with underwater mortgages are paying higher interest rates on those loans. Borrowers in negative equity at the close of the second quarter totaled 10.9 million, for a market share of 22.5 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, representing a slight downward trend.

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Rep. Frank to Update Plans for FOMC Overhaul

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is speaking out again on new legislation that would block regional presidents within the Federal Reserve system from voting participation in the Federal Open Market Committee. Rep. Frank, author of the proposed bill, is seeking to replace five seats on the committee ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô those traditionally reserved for the presidents of regional Fed banks ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô with four hand-selected individuals, chosen by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Rep. Frank is also said to be working on an updated version of the legislation.

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Bush, Lawmakers Mull Housing Finance, Past and Future

Lawmakers butted heads over their intentions for GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a hearing Tuesday, with Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee seeking private-sector solutions while a number of Democrats called the federal government a needed buttress in housing finance. MReport captured a look back by former President George W. Bush at the federal bailouts orchestrated by his administration during the financial crisis.

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S&P Launches Five New Sub-Industry Indices

Standard & Poor's is enhancing its index offerings, and S&P's new additions are aimed at evaluating the performance of specific sub-industries within the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). The five new indices from S&P include the Banks Select Industry Index, Capital Markets Select Industry Index, Insurance Select Industry Index, Mortgage Finance Select Industry Index, and the Regional Banks Select Industry Index. Additionally, the Software & Services Select Industry Index will launch in late September.

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Minnesota Leads in Q2 Mortgage Fraud Activity

More mortgage brokers, loan officers, and others chose Minnesota over all other states in which to bilk homeowners and lenders, placing the northern state first for mortgage fraud activity and making it the most unlikely hotspot for criminal behavior. An index released by MortgageDaily.com bore witness to a 27-percent surge in mortgage fraud activity for the North Star State over the second quarter, with other contenders seeing a rise in fraudulent behavior quarter-over-quarter.

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CharterBank Makes Third FDIC Deal

Charter Financial Corporation is growing, via its acquisition of The First National Bank of Florida. Conducting the deal through its wholly owned subsidiary, CharterBank, Charter structured an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to assume all deposits as well as the majority of assets of the Milton, Florida-based bank. The First National Bank of Florida was officially declared closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the FDIC was named as its receiver.

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Capital One Acquisition of ING Under Scrutiny from Fed

Complex financial evaluation is nothing new for the Federal Reserve, but federal regulators exploring Capital One Financial Corp.'s potential acquisition of ING Groep NV's online banking platform, ING Direct USA, are applying extreme examination to the transaction. According to the Fed, Capital One's proposed purchase of ING's U.S. web-based banking business could create a financial institution so enormous and complicated that it could affect the broader marketplace, and the Fed has issued a two-page letter asking for responses to critical queries.

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