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TRF and Wolters Kluwer Announce Partnership

In Minnesota, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services has established an agreement with The Reinvestment Fund (TRF). The two entities will work together to integrate TRF;s PolicyMap application with Wolters Kluwer's software solutions for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and fair lending compliance.

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Refinance Applications Spike as Investors Leave Europe: MBA

Investors fleeing Europe once more helped drive mortgage refinance applications to 3.8 percent this week, up from the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA's Refinance Index climbed 5.6 percent from the week before, signaling a rise for the third consecutive week and helping reach highs not seen since February earlier this year. The four-week moving average ticked up by 4.83 for the index. The refinance share of mortgage activity leapt to 76.6 percent of total application volume.

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April New Home Sales Climb 3.3%, Beating Earlier Forecasts

New homes sales rose 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000, the Commerce Department and HUD said jointly Wednesday. Sales for March were revised upward from 328,000 to 332,000. Economists had expected the report to show a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 335,000 new home sales in April. New home sales in April were up 9.9 percent from April 2011, the seventh straight month of year-over-year increases. The increase came despite survey results that showed new home shoppers had fallen.

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FDIC Reportedly Files Suit Against Several Large Banks

The FDIC reportedly filed suit Friday against a number of large bank holding companies, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan Chase. Media outlets reported that the FDIC seeks to recoup some $92 million for two banks that failed in 2009. The suit alleges that banks like the big four are responsible for misrepresenting mortgage-backed securities to Citizens National Bank and Strategic Capital Bank. Speaking with MReport, FDIC spokesperson David Barr declined to comment on the story. Bank of America and Citigroup reportedly appear as the only defendants cited in all three cases.

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Warren Group: Massachusetts Prices May Have Hit Bottom

Continuing a four-month trend ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô one that has also prevailed in nine of the past 10 consecutive months ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô single-family home sales in Massachusetts rose year-over-year in April, according to The Warren Group, a New England real estate analytics firm. However, single-family home prices reversed a seven-month downward drift, rising 1.1 percent. The median sales price for single-family homes in Massachusetts now stands at $275,000. On the other hand, the year-to-date median price is $264,900, which is 1 percent lower than the year-to-date price in April of last year, according to The Warren Group.

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Fitch Ratings Knocks Down Litton’s Servicer Ratings

Fitch Ratings downgraded mortgage servicer ratings for Litton Loan Servicing LLP following Litton's acquisition by Ocwen Financial Corp. The agency cut Litton's product servicer ratings in a number of categories, dropping them from RPS1 to RPS3. In addition, Litton's servicer rating for manufactured housing product dropped to RPS3 from RPS2, and its residential special servicer rating fell to RSS3 from RPS1. These drops illustrate a fall from Fitch's highest standards of servicing to average. The ratings downgrade comes in light of Ocwen's acquisition of Litton last year.

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Mortgage Rates Remain Near Record Lows as Europe Wavers

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered at 3.63 percent this week, up from record lows last week, with debt crises in Europe continuing to scare investors and drag down prospects for a steady economic recovery. Real estate Web site Zillow found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage down to 3.63 percent, up from 3.59 percent last week. The 15-year home loan averaged 2.93 percent, while rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages reached 2.54 percent. Europe remains a sore spot for the economic recovery.

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