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New Bank Failures Raise 2011 Tally to 70

As Americans vacationed over Labor Day weekend, the FDIC and other regulators found themselves swamped with new bank failures Friday, with the federal agency serving as receiver for two in Georgia. State regulators stepped in to shutter Cumming-based Patriot Bank of Georgia and Woodstock-based CreekSide Bank, signing off on a loss-share transaction that left Atlanta-based Georgia Commerce Bank as the sole acquirer. The collapse of Patriot and Creekside raises the national tally for bank failures to 70 this year.

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Strong Servicing Sector for First United

First United Bank has reason to celebrate, with the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós recent announcement that its mortgage servicing division├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós portfolio has ballooned to more than $1 billion. The Oklahoma-based financial institution will now be able to serve even more customers in its home state and Texas thanks to its achievement.

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FHFA Sues 17 Companies Over MBS Losses

Acting on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency filed suits Friday against 17 of the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós largest banks and firms to recover losses stemming from mortgage-backed securities. At stake: tens of billions of dollars in assets, according to market watchers. Multiple news outlets fixed losses in mortgage-backed securities for the GSEs at $41 billion. The federal agency announced that it filed the suits on behalf of the GSEs in a New York federal court.

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HUD Scorecard Touts Initiatives Despite Housing Health

Housing market conditions remained fragile despite numerous initiatives put forward by the Obama administration, according to a recent scorecard released Thursday by HUD and the Treasury Department. The administration cited numerous industry-respected analytics sources and painted a helpful portrait of the homeownership and refinance endeavors it has made possible. Sources polled for the government gauge of housing and economic health included CoreLogic and Standard & Poor's, among others.

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REITs May Lose 50-Year Exemptions Under SEC Rule

Publicly traded real estate companies, commonly known as Real Estate Investment Trusts, could see their industry fall under new rules and regulations if a new rule-making proposal sees approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The federal commission voted Wednesday to investigate whether these companies meet definitions under the Company Investment Act, a law from which publicly traded real estate companies have been exempt for nearly 50 years.

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Appraisers Get New Standards

As of Thursday, appraisers and realtors must now use a new universal grading rubric when it comes to their assessments for properties with government-backed mortgages. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently revised their appraisal guidelines to streamline a sometimes unclear process, but some warn of the potential for fallout among appraisers, realtors, and homeowners unfamiliar with the new standards. Appraisers will need to weigh property values against new codes and abbreviations.

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North Texas Hiring Hub for Lenders

Lewisville, Texas, will gain 700 new employment opportunities courtesy of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The financial institution is set to open a major mortgage servicing center in the area, adding to 2,000 area workers.

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JGWPT to Enter Reverse Mortgage Market

Private holding company JGWPT, which recently announced the acquisition of J.G. Wentworth and Peachtree Financial Solutions, has made another advancement, with the launch of its reverse mortgage division. The newly formed reverse mortgage segment will operate as part of the Peachtree group of companies and will be based in Boynton Beach.

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MBA Proposes Transitional License for Originators

If the Mortgage Bankers Association has its way, loan originators may soon have the ability to legally transition from entities under federal supervision and regulation to institutions under subject to state rules and authority. The trade group recently proposed amending the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act in a way that would supply originators with a transitional license. The MBA drafted the amendment to reshape language under the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and American Association of Mortgage Regulators.

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