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New American Funding Receives Industry Honor

New American Funding has a reason to celebrate the end of summer thanks to a recent honor bestowed on the company by _Top_ _Agent_ _Magazine_. The publication recently named New American├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós managing director, Patty Arvielo, to its annual roster of Top California Mortgage Vendors.

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Closing Costs for Mortgage Loans Continue to Decline

A new report from Bankrate.com shows significant declines in mortgage closing costs, pointing to a victory for the industry. According to the website's recent study, the average cost to close on a mortgage loan in the U.S. dropped by seven percent during the past year.

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HUD Investigates SunTrust FHA for Origination Practices

SunTrust PersonalBanking is under investigation by HUD regarding its FHA loan origination practices. HUD made its investigation known to the Atlanta-based bank in late April, and in a recent filing, the bank said, ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£The Company is cooperating with the investigation.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø (At the time of this publication, SunTrust could not be reached for further comment.) According to the filing, HUD├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós investigation pertains ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£generally to origination practices for FHA loans.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø Multiple news reports confirmed in June that HUD had issued subpoenas to SunTrust, MetLife, and U.S. Bancorp regarding FHA loan originations.

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Consumer Optimism Unflagging Despite Economic Trouble

Stalled confidence in the economy and personal finances apparently hasn├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ót brought down optimism in the housing market. Fannie Mae released its July 2012 National Housing Survey Tuesday, showing that consumer optimism regarding the slowly recovering housing market remained strong during the month. Survey respondents said they expect home prices to increase 1.7 percent in the next year, slightly down from the 2.0 percent survey high recorded in June, while 11 percent believe they will drop.

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Buy Buy Brooklyn: Hall Street Listing Has Artistic Legacy

The former Brooklyn home of legendary artists and one-time couple Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe is on the market for $1 million. Located in Clinton Hill, the property's price tag reflects Brooklyn's increasing popularity, but according to Zillow, the singer and photographer were lucky enough to snag the townhouse for just $80 per month back in the 60s.

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MountainView Unloads $487M in Fannie Mae MSRs

MountainView Servicing Group announced Monday that it completed the sale of three bulk packages of mortgage servicing rights for Fannie Mae loans. The Denver-based subsidiary of MountainView Capital Holdings completed the sale on July 31. All packages were sold without bifurcation of seller and servicer representations and warranties. The three packages had a combined unpaid principal balance of $487 million and contained mostly conventional fixed-rate product secured by properties located across the country.

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Banks Ease Lending Terms to Meet Mortgage Demand

Commercial banks eased standards for residential mortgage loans to meet a sharp increase in demand in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve reported Monday in its quarterly survey of bank lending standards. According to the quarterly survey, a net 52.5 percent of bank officers responding to the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey reported increased demand for traditional mortgage loans in the second quarter compared with a net 30.2 percent reporting stronger demand in the first quarter.

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Home Prices Expected to Rise Over Next Two Years

Shrinking inventory and shifts in sales composition have provided a foothold for housing prices to start climbing, according to Fiserv, Inc. The company released its Case-Shiller Home Price Insights Monday, showing that after six years of decline, home prices are finally starting to stabilize. Prices increased in 40 percent of the surveyed 384 metro areas in the first quarter of 2012, and the report showed that it's actually cheaper to buy than rent in many U.S. markets. Single-family home prices increased in 151 out of 384 metro areas in the first quarter of the year.

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Sterling Bancorp Completes Acquisition of Universal Mortgage

Universal Mortgage, Inc., has been acquired by Sterling Bancorp and its subsidiary, Sterling National Bank. Through the agreement between the New York-based companies, Universal's principals and their related teams will join Sterling's mortgage lending operations. Louis J. Cappelli, Sterling Bancorp's chairman and CEO stated, "We are acquiring a strong source of mortgage production that will complement our existing mortgage banking business and further enhance our significant level of non-interest income."

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Genworth Financial’s USMI Confirmed as NAFCU Partner

NAFCU Services Corporation has announced the renewal of an agreement with the organization's Preferred Partner, Genworth Financial's U.S. Mortgage Insurance division. The group recently confirmed USMI's partnership status, effectively extending the designation granted to USMI in 2011.

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