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California’s Home Sales Net Mixed Reviews in September

In California, home sales were down during September, but data from the month still represents upward movement year-over-year for the third consecutive month. The recent findings from the California Association of Realtors puts the state at what the organization calls a stable level. Closings for escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California transitioned downward to a seasonally adjusted total of 487,940 for September, representing a loss of 2.1 percent from August.

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Freddie: Rental Housing Surges Past Homeownership Rates

Rising homebuilder confidence seen Tuesday coupled with news of a surge in multifamily housing development ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the sector typical for rental construction ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reported Monday. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac offered up the data and analysis in an October 2011 Economic and Housing Market Outlook, with the consensus that tenant-occupied properties are on track to continue outpacing homeownership rates. New construction starts rose this year with a minimum 20 dwellings.

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Fannie: 50% Chance U.S. Economy Will Double-Dip by End of 2012

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae gives the U.S. economy equal chances for a second recession and recovery by the end of next year. Podcasting the 2011 October Economic Outlook, titled Economy at a Crossroads, the company forecasted that GDP will stay below 2 percent for the remainder of 2011 into next year. Among other reasons, the GSE's internal think tank cited trouble in the financial and labor markets, given the euro debt crisis, weak jobs reports, and low consumer confidence. The outlook follows several other similar reports.

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Survey: Originators Thriving Despite Rules, Regulations

Mortgage originations are on their way up despite the onset of new rules and regulations, according to a recent survey by MortgageDaily.com. Also included: how top originators thrive in today├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós tough market. The results? Three-quarters of those polled make $250,000 a year, even as many of the same lenders decry mortgage rules and regulations. Much of the survey's findings follow departures from the industry by major mortgage lenders, grim economic outlooks, and more.

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RE/MAX Report Shows Sales on the Rise

RE/MAX has released the results of its most recent housing survey, and the company's evaluation of 53 metropolitan areas demonstrates a 7.6 percent rise in home sales year-over-year in September. The findings represent the third consecutive month in which an increase in sales was shown year-over-year for comparable months, and generally, sales have been on the uptick for four of nine months during 2011 based on RE/MAX's report. September's data extends trends seen from data recorded in July and August, during which sales rose by18 percent and 13.1 percent respectively.

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Fraud Participant Pleads Guilty in $7 Million Case

Another mortgage fraud engineer has been brought to justice in New York, with Marleen Shillingford entering a guilty plea following her participation in a multimillion-dollar scheme. Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez, the defendant waived her right to indictment on charges related to a scam that involved more than 40 properties. The fraudulent acts were primarily executed against properties held by banks receiving funding from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

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CMBS Division Likely to Close at Credit Suisse

Financial institution Credit Suisse is set to shut down its commercial mortgage-backed securities division following rumblings of approaching layoffs. The overall impact of the global economy and dropping property values in the commercial sector this year are also believed to have played a role. According to numerous news outlets, Credit Suisse's executive of securitized products, Albert Sohn, held a meeting on Wednesday to announce the likely firing of 50 people working as part of the company's commercial real-estate team.

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Private Investment Pilot Program Gains Traction

Capitol Hill is buzzing with the news of a pilot program that would facilitate the redirection of private investments into the U.S. mortgage industry. The potential moves from the Obama administration and federal housing regulators represent a transition from a mortgage-backed securities market that is largely controlled by the government sponsored enterprises. Talk in Washington, D.C., indicates that as early as 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would initiate the sale of portions of securities to specific private investors.

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MetLife May Sell Stake in Originations, Citing Regulations

While it shreds other banking assets, MetLife may soon sell the share of mortgage originations it owns in the marketplace, marking another major selloff for the life insurer as federal regulators advance new rules and compliance measures for lenders. A MetLife spokesperson tells MReport that the life insurer will continue to originate reverse mortgages as it looks for a buyer for the MetLife Home Loans division. The move follows a decision by Bank of America to shut down its correspondent lending unit.

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Survey Shows Global Rise In Fraud Tech Efforts

Fiserv, Inc. recently evaluated technology initiatives targeting the prevention of fraud money laundering, and the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós survey shows that financial institutions are continuing to invest in such measures in spite of the growing need for mortgage banks to limit spending.

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