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Senators Float Mortgage Interest Deduction Proposal

Mortgage interest rate deductions, treasured by homeowners for their help with ownership and health insurance, may soon get the axe, as lawmakers struggle to raise revenue and gain the upper hand on the multi-trillion-dollar deficit. If a Senate budget plan works its way to the House, the nation's homeowners may see their taxes spike by as much as $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. The bipartisan "Gang of Six" senators moved forward with a proposal that would slash mortgage interest rate deductions.

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Mortgage Rates Inch Up Amid Debt-Default Fears

As House Republicans shifted their focus to a balanced budget amendment Friday in order to push through a debt-ceiling raise bill, two analytics companies posted upticks in mortgage rates - a sign that some say the markets feel increasingly unsure about whether the nation will be able to pay its debts come August 2. A Bankrate, Inc. survey reflected a 6-basis point surge to 4.74 percent, with mortgages totaling 0.35 discount and origination points, with Freddie Mac reporting a similar jump.

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FHA: Total Loan Origination Volume Falls

Plummeting refinance applications crimped Federal Housing Administration mortgage loan applications over June, according to a report issued by the federal agency, with total volume falling 22 percent less than volume at the same time last year. The FHA attributed the plunge to a 50 percent decline in year-over-year numbers for refinance applications. Data from June last year suggests a sharp decline in refinance loan applications, which dropped from 69,876 to 35,367 last month.

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OTS Goes Dark as Authority Moves to OCC

On Thursday the Office of Thrift Supervision went dark in offices and locations around the country, with the bulk of its supervisory responsibilities and employees relocating to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and several other federal agencies. Come October, the agency ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô responsible for supervising savings banks and associations since 1989 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô will officially cease to exist. The OCC received transfers of authority that includes regulating institutions with less than $10 billion in assets.

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FHFA Sues UBS Americas Over MBS Losses

On Wednesday the Federal Housing Finance Agency slapped UBS Americas Inc. and several other defendants with a suit in the U.S. district court for the Southern District of New York, claiming the company violated federal law by selling bad residential private-label mortgage-backed securities to GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Aiming to recover losses stemming from a $4.5 billion investment by the GSEs in 16 pools of mortgage-backed securities, the federal agency alleges in the suit that UBS misstated and omitted important details.

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Wells Promoting While Preparing for Executive Retirements

Wells Fargo has a new leader for its consumer-lending business in Avid Modjtabai, and additionally, Wells confirmed that Mike Heid will take over as president of its mortgage unit. Modjtabai was formerly the head of Wells├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó technology and operations, and his new role will encompass mortgages, home-equity, and student loans under the Wells Fargo Consumer Lending division.

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Warren Leaves CFPB for Harvard

After a year of controversy, back-and-forth hearings, and battles on Capitol Hill, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau architect and advocate Elizabeth Warren will depart from the bureau and return to an endowed position at Harvard Law School come August. Date will assume responsibility for day-to-day affairs and operations at the Treasury Department. Last month Bloomberg News circulated reports that Obama would replace Warren, a polarizing figure on Capitol Hill, with the associate director.

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CoreLogic Making Moves in India and U.S.

CoreLogic├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós international operations are making news in India, with the announcement that Cognizant will buy CoreLogic Global Services Pvt. Ltd. for a reported $50 million. The acquisition of CoreLogic Global, better known as CoreLogic India, will likely make Cognizant the third largest information technology services entity in the country, ousting Wipro Ltd. Lenders using the new program will benefit from a high level of customization, including the ability to tailor the alert system.

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Housing Markets Mixed as Debt Talks Splinter

As splintering debt-ceiling negotiations unnerved analysts and ratings agencies, Treasury yields and mortgage rates remained relatively stable over the weekend, reflecting a widespread consensus among investors and market watchers that partisan divisions would soon give way to a grand bargain between policymakers. CNN reported Sunday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) refused to agree to a set of conditions at the White House, ending dramatic four-month-long negotiations.

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Companies, Industry Groups Continue QRM Rule Fight

Real estate and relocation servicers provider Realogy Corporation became the latest in a string of companies to file critical commentary with regulatory authorities overseeing the Qualified Residential Mortgage rule, the embattled proposal that industry groups say would crimp housing by forcing homebuyers to front 20 percent in down payments. Realogy joins a host of other critics, including the Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy, 320 members of Congress, and some 44 private organizations.

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