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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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MBA Speaker Portrays Changing Demographics in Homeownership

Minorities and seniors are growing their share of the national population more than ever, William H. Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, told attendees at the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual convention and expo Chicago Wednesday. There is also a continuing population shift out of the heartland states to what Frey classifies as the new Sunbelt.

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Credit Officers Speak Out in Fed Survey

Credit officers are weighing in on the current state of the markets, credit terms, securities financing, and over-the-counter derivatives, according to a recent Federal Reserve poll. The results were mixed, and a broad look at credit availability demonstrated no definitive direction in terms of easing versus tightening credit, which is a departure from June's findings that showed an overall loosening of credit across the board. Twenty-one financial institutions participated in the survey.

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FOMC Minutes Suggest Fed Officials Wanted Bolder Action

Fed

Governors sitting on the board of the Federal Reserve pressed their fellow central bankers for more bond purchases, an idea the institution ultimately rejected in favor of $400 billion in short-term Treasury purchases to offset worries about a new recession. The minutes portray the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, held in early September, as one carefully assessing the current economic climate and an array of fiscal and monetary measures needed to sustain a national recovery.

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Mortgage Rates Climb Higher Following Steep Fall Last Week

After hitting rock bottom last week, mortgage rates returned to previous lows on a somewhat tenuous climb this week as European central bankers seemed to reach a deal and a U.S. jobs report netted better-than-expected results. Leaping forward from a history-making 3.94 percent last week, interest rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.12 percent, according to Freddie. Bankrate.com offered up similar results, showcasing a 4.37-percent 30-year loan rate this week, up from 4.21 percent.

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Lawmakers Press Officials Over Mass Refinance Program

Sixteen lawmakers from both parties inked their names to a widely circulated letter Wednesday that called for the implementation of a massive refinance program first proposed by President Barack Obama. Addressing several high-ranking officials, the bipartisan group pressed in the letter for the elimination loan-to-value ratio caps, risk-based loan fees, and barriers like second lien holders. Supporters say an expanded refi program would allow for an unprecedented surge in refinancing activity.

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AppraiserLoft Closes Amid Rumors, Departures

Mortgage appraisal company AppraiserLoft has closed its doors following numerous executive departures, rumors of non-payment to appraisers, and an ongoing lawsuit brought against the company's CEO regarding alleged activities unrelated to the company. According to numerous trade publications, AppraiserLoft made employees aware of the shutdown last week in advance of its official closure. Current clients are instructed to contact the company via its help-desk e-mail account.

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