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Origination

FHFA Sues 17 Companies Over MBS Losses

Acting on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency filed suits Friday against 17 of the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós largest banks and firms to recover losses stemming from mortgage-backed securities. At stake: tens of billions of dollars in assets, according to market watchers. Multiple news outlets fixed losses in mortgage-backed securities for the GSEs at $41 billion. The federal agency announced that it filed the suits on behalf of the GSEs in a New York federal court.

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Profits Jump for Mortgage Banks Over Q2 2011

Despite an unfulfilling jobs report that left housing industries with flat feet, independent mortgage banks found reason to celebrate with a windfall in profit on second-quarter loans. Mortgage banks on average scored $575 for each loan, reflecting increases from $346 per loan over the first quarter this year, according to a performance report released Thursday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Companies saw their loan volume jump from $164 million on average over the first quarter to $174 million.

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HUD Scorecard Touts Initiatives Despite Housing Health

Housing market conditions remained fragile despite numerous initiatives put forward by the Obama administration, according to a recent scorecard released Thursday by HUD and the Treasury Department. The administration cited numerous industry-respected analytics sources and painted a helpful portrait of the homeownership and refinance endeavors it has made possible. Sources polled for the government gauge of housing and economic health included CoreLogic and Standard & Poor's, among others.

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REITs May Lose 50-Year Exemptions Under SEC Rule

Publicly traded real estate companies, commonly known as Real Estate Investment Trusts, could see their industry fall under new rules and regulations if a new rule-making proposal sees approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The federal commission voted Wednesday to investigate whether these companies meet definitions under the Company Investment Act, a law from which publicly traded real estate companies have been exempt for nearly 50 years.

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Appraisers Get New Standards

As of Thursday, appraisers and realtors must now use a new universal grading rubric when it comes to their assessments for properties with government-backed mortgages. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently revised their appraisal guidelines to streamline a sometimes unclear process, but some warn of the potential for fallout among appraisers, realtors, and homeowners unfamiliar with the new standards. Appraisers will need to weigh property values against new codes and abbreviations.

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Mortgage Rates Offer More Mixed News

Mortgage rates either stayed the same or plunged to record lows, depending on where market watchers obtained their news Thursday. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac and personal finance Web site Bankrate.com released separate figures, with the former seeing a static 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and the latter finding a new bottom for the benchmark loan. The 30-year loan went bottoms up, according to Bankrate.com, which posted a 4.37-percent low, down from 4.41 percent from the week earlier.

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JGWPT to Enter Reverse Mortgage Market

Private holding company JGWPT, which recently announced the acquisition of J.G. Wentworth and Peachtree Financial Solutions, has made another advancement, with the launch of its reverse mortgage division. The newly formed reverse mortgage segment will operate as part of the Peachtree group of companies and will be based in Boynton Beach.

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MBA Proposes Transitional License for Originators

If the Mortgage Bankers Association has its way, loan originators may soon have the ability to legally transition from entities under federal supervision and regulation to institutions under subject to state rules and authority. The trade group recently proposed amending the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act in a way that would supply originators with a transitional license. The MBA drafted the amendment to reshape language under the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and American Association of Mortgage Regulators.

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