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Origination

ARC Adds New SVP of Debt Initiatives

Investment advisory firm American Realty Capital is welcoming a new senior vice president to start the new year, with the announcement that Andrew Winer will join the company as its leader of strategic debt initiatives. In joining the company, Winer will handle advisory services for multiple ARC partners, as well as facilitating the development of corporate lines of credit for the company's investment programs.

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Titan and PHH Team Up on Fulfillment

It's a match for Titan Lenders Corp. and PHH Mortgage Corporation. The two companies recently announced the initiation of a strategic partnership, and through the collaboration, PHH Mortgage will gain access to Titan's fulfillment outsourcing services.

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FOMC’s November Minutes Reflect Euro Crisis Concerns

Fed

With the euro zone crisis deepening, members of the Federal Open Market Committee elected to stay the course in November by keeping interest rates historically low and pooling investments from agency debt into agency mortgage-backed securities. Minutes framed discussions around concerns about weakening confidence in the markets as a result of any potential default by euro zone nations, even while the U.S. economy signaled that it would continue climbing out of the financial crisis. Europe helped rattle markets and compel the Fed's action in 2011.

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Zillow Sees New Lows for Mortgage Rates

If the latest figures for mortgage rates signal anything, lenders may continue seeing all-time lows for interest on their loans. Real estate Web site Zillow reported the figures Tuesday in the latest Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, which tracks anonymous quotes in real time. Zillow found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slamming into a record low of 3.73 percent this week, falling from 3.81 percent last week. Rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage leveled out at 3.07 percent, while 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages rounded out at 2.65 percent.

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Construction Spending Climbed 1.2% in November

Homebuilders spent more on construction in November last year than in any month before August, with figures for new residences climbing by 1.2 percent above October estimates. Fielding the numbers Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that construction spending overall hovered at around $807.1 billion. Single-family home construction moved forward at a steady clip by rising 1.5 percent, with nonresidential construction staying nearly the same as in October with about $278 billion or so in reported expenditures.

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Federal Agencies Extend Commentary Period for Volcker

Fed

Financial institutions now have more elbow room for their commentary, thanks to the decision by four federal agencies to extend commentary for a controversial rule under the Dodd-Frank Act. The FDIC, Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Securities and Exchange Commission acted in unison Friday by agreeing to delay commentary deadlines for the Volcker Rule, which proposes to ban short-term proprietary trading for financial institutions. The agencies will receive public commentary over the rule until February 13, 2012.

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CEO’s Corner: A New Year for Our Industry

Ed Delgado, CEO of our parent company, the Five Star Institute, reflects on 2011 as we enter a New Year. He takes into account events from around the economy over the last year to forecast a period of hoped-for renewal in 2012.

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New Home Sales Crawl Forward by 1.6%

New single-family home sales offered to end the year on a hopeful note by crawling forward by 1.6 percent in November, arriving at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 315,000 units. The Commerce Department reported the data via the Census Bureau, which releases new-home sales numbers on a monthly basis. New home sales arrived at a median sales price of $214,000 in November, while the average sales price came closer to $242,900, according to the agency.

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Will the FHA Take a Turn as the Next Housing Bailout?

Twists and turns led the housing market into uncertainty in 2011, with concerns about undercapitalization for the Federal Housing Administration driving a feeding frenzy on Capitol Hill and around the nation about the fate of a time-honored agency. A report by Joseph Gyourko, a University of Pennsylvania real estate and finance professor, leveled claims in November that the FHA├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós failure to answer more than $1 trillion in insurance-in-force with $2.6 billion in capital reserves may damn it to its place as the next housing bailout. Gyourko's report put Capitol Hill in a fighting mood.

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A Year of Mortgage Fraud, and the New Year

Mortgage fraud proved its staying power in headlines for 2011, even with incidents for fraudulent loan applications reportedly on the decline from the year before. MReport offers a year in review and a look at how lenders and servicers continue to fight fraud into the New Year.

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