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Exclusive: Trade Group to Call for CFPB Official to Resign After Broker Comments

Sparking indignation in the mortgage broker community, Raj Date, deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, laid the bulk of the blame for the housing crisis on brokers during a speaking engagement Monday. His statements have led at least one industry trade group to call for his resignation. Marc Savitt, president of the National Association of Independent Housing Professionals, called Date's comments "outrageous." He said the group will call for the official's resignation this week.

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Homeowners Driving More Mortgage Purchases in New England

Record-breaking low mortgage rates and rising home sales are leading to increase mortgage activity in New England, according to The Warren Group's Mortgage MarketShare Module. According to the data, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have all seen strong mortgage activity so far in 2012, with Massachusetts showing the strongest numbers. Activity in the state is up more than 28 percent, rising to 99,097 in the first four months of the year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô an increase from 76,930 during the same period in 2011. Purchase mortgages increased almost 13 percent year-over-year to 13,376.

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Thirty-Year Loan Crashes Into New Low as Europe Scrambles

The crisis of confidence in Europe once again drove mortgage rates to record lows this week, with real estate Web site Zillow reporting that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slammed into 3.56 percent, the lowest it has recorded since it started surveying rates. Zillow said that the 30-year loan initially rose to 3.62 percent this week after euro zone authorities decided to bail out Spain with favorable terms. The rate for a 15-year loan hovered at 2.95 percent, while interest rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.68 percent.

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RE/MAX Wants to Know What Moves You

RE/MAX is rolling out a sweet social media contest with some very special prizes at stake. The company recently launched the inaugural What Moves You? competition, which honors weekly winners who send in creative submissions capturing the compelling stories behind their decision to move.

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B of A Agrees to Maternity Discrimination Settlement

HUD announced Thursday that Bank of America has agreed to pay $161,180 to settle allegations of maternity-based discrimination. A complaint had been filed by the Fair Housing Council of Orange County against BofA alleging that one of its San Jose branches refused to refinance a woman's mortgage because she was on maternity leave. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in mortgage lending and real estate-related transactions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability. BofA was alleged to be in violation of the provisions protecting sex and family status.

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More Real Estate Agents, Brokers Prefer Romney: Survey

Some 66 percent of real estate agents and brokers disapprove of President Barack Obama's performance, with many preferring GOP presidential forerunner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the coming election, according to real estate company HomeGain. The home valuations company released results from a second-quarter survey Monday that polled 400 real estate agents and more than 1,700 homeowners. The company also found more optimism among real estate professionals about home values.

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Down Payment Biggest Barrier to Homeownership: Study

Feelings about homeownership remain positive in the face of a diminished market, but an uncertain economy and increasing down payments are keeping Americans from making purchases, a report from Integra Realty Resources said. Wednesday's report detailed results from an IRR-commissioned survey of non-homeowners ages 22-50 in 11 major markets. While 85 percent of potential buyers indicated that market conditions are favorable for purchasing a home, unemployment and job instability make many respondents reluctant or unable to buy a home.

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Four Banks Close Friday, Bringing 2012 Tally to 28

Four banks were shut down Friday bringing the tally of fallen banks so far this year to 28. The banks were located in Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation closed Shabbona, Illinois-based Farmers and Traders State Bank. The failed bank held $43.1 million in assets and $42.3 million in deposits as of the end of the first quarter of the year. First State Bank, based in Mendota, Illinois, entered a purchase and assumption agreement with the FDIC.

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Miami Home Sales Fall from Previous Year, Luxury Market Rises

While Miami home sales in April fell slightly, the multimillion-dollar luxury home market experienced a 36.5 percent increase from both the month before and previous year, according to San-Diego based DataQuick. In April, 101 homes sold for more than $2 million or more. During the first four months of 2012, 286 homes sold for the same amount or more, up 14.4 percent from the same period in 2011. Miami-area home sales rose modestly in April compared with March but fell slightly short of the year-ago level.

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