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Mortgage Rates Ride Rollercoaster Ahead of Greek Deadline

All-time highs for housing affordability persisted this week as interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages hovered near their record-breaking lows, a sign that Europe continues to ward off investors. Real estate Web site Zillow found only a minor shift for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which lingered between 3.70 percent and 3.75 percent before nestling at 3.69 percent Tuesday. The 15-year loan stayed near 2.95 percent, along with rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages that averaged 2.65 percent, according to the Web site.

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Platinum Data Solutions Appoints New CEO

Platinum Data Solutions has named a new CEO, announcing that industry veteran Phil Huff will join the company following the retirement of the company's founder, Rocky Donathan, who was the previous CEO.

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Home Prices Expected to Continue Stabilizing: Fitch

Lower unemployment figures and higher GDP growth continue to help stabilize home prices amid a still-steady recovery, Fitch Ratings said Monday. The ratings agency found in a report that home prices may plunge 9.1 percent nationally but that the figures remain below estimates of 13.1 percent from the fourth quarter. Fitch said that declines may contract by around 6 percent in lieu of inflation and benefit from improvements in macro-economic indicators, such as unemployment and GDP growth. The report said that still-anemic mortgage volume remains a problem.

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NAHB Proposes Plan to Overhaul Secondary Market

A prominent housing trade group joined a growing roster of policy makers by outlining ways to take the GSEs off federal conservatorship, reintroduce private mortgage-backed securities, and charge existing government entities with stewardship of the new system. The National Association of Home Builders released a white paper Monday that calls on lawmakers to slowly transition a system dominated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to one that shares and balances responsibility. The proposal comes as others arrive from lawmakers and policy makers to replace the GSEs.

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Georgia Bank Failure Raises 2012 Tally to 12

The bank failure tally for 2012 rose Friday as state regulators shuttered a bank in Georgia, emboldening the state's reputation as a graveyard for community banks in recent years. The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance turned off the lights for Doraville-based Global Commerce Bank, which went under with about $143.7 million in total assets and $116.8 million in total deposits. Neighboring Metro City Bank entered into a purchase-and-assumption transaction with the FDIC, scooping up $79 million in assets and leaving the rest to the agency for disposition.

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Last Year’s Housing Doldrums Dampen Obama Scorecard

A troubled year for housing surfaced in a February housing scorecard from the Obama administration Friday, underscoring a still-unsteady pace for home prices, mortgage origination volume, and housing supply. Jointly released by HUD and the Treasury Department, the scorecard reflects an industry still in transition from crisis to recovery. The scorecard cited a National Association of Realtors Home Affordability Index, showing that it moved from 179.1 February last year to 194.9 this year, not far from the level seen in January.

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Moody’s Slashes Servicer Rating for Wells Fargo

Moody├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Investor Service slashed credit ratings for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Thursday over concerns about deterioration in the quality of prime and subprime loans. The ratings agency downgraded the servicer from SQ1 to SQ2+. When reviewing residential mortgage servicers, Moody├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós rates SQ1 as strong and SQ5 as weak, with modifiers like pluses and minuses signifying their relative strength and weakness in each category. Moody├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós cited the $25-billion settlement as one reason why, saying that added public pressure over negotiations lengthened foreclosure timelines.

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Hamilton Financial Index Shows Strength Improving

Hamilton Place Strategies has released findings from its analytics initiative, the Hamilton Financial Index. The company releases its examination of the state of the U.S. financial services industry on a semi-annual basis, and Hamilton conducts the study on behalf of the Partnership for a Secure Financial Future.

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