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Hamilton Financial Index Shows Strength Improving

Hamilton Place Strategies has released findings from its analytics initiative, the Hamilton Financial Index. The company releases its examination of the state of the U.S. financial services industry on a semi-annual basis, and Hamilton conducts the study on behalf of the Partnership for a Secure Financial Future.

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Still Falling, Mortgage Rates Read From the Same Script

This week mortgage rates played by the same script seen for the last few months, furthering a season for all-time high affordability while fears for Europe drove investors across the Atlantic. Finance Web site Bankrate.com, mortgage giant Freddie Mac, and real estate Web site Zillow.com delivered a dearth for rates across the board. Bankrate.com likewise offered declines for loans across the board. For its part, Greece remains in the clutch of a debt crisis that drew $172 billion in bailout funds from eurozone finance ministers last week.

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Business Fell to $4.9B for Mortgage Insurers in January

Private mortgage insurance companies backed home loans to the tune of $4.9 billion in January, a decline from $6.9 billion last year, as the industry continues to reel from sapped business and credit downgrades. Mortgage Insurance Companies of America found $399 billion in insurance-in-force for member companies Genworth Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., Radian Mortgage Insurance Co., and Republic Mortgage Insurance Co. The trade group said that some 21,904 borrowers made a purchase or loan refinance.

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Housing Looms Large, As Ever, For Bernanke, Lawmakers

A hearing held by House lawmakers Wednesday with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recast housing and the Dodd-Frank Act as issues critical to the economic recovery. The central banker said that 30 percent of home sales recently consisted of foreclosures and properties in distress, reflecting ongoing trouble for a market underpinned by high home vacancy rates and downward pressure for home prices. The underwriting process, down payments, and pending regulations also took center-stage during the discussion, with House members spotlighting recent servicer consent orders.

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Beige Book Sees Continuing Economic Improvement


Overall economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace in January and early February, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in the Beige Book. The report ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô an anecdotal review of conditions in each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô showed economic improvement varying across the country. Residential real estate activity increased modestly in most parts of the country, while home prices declined or held steady in many areas. Reports on banking conditions were generally positive across the country. Demand for residential mortgage loans increased in New York and Richmond.

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PVTB Launches New Unit, Appoints New Leader

In Illinois, PrivateBancorp, Inc., has named a new president of personal client services. The financial institution recently appointed Brant Aherns to the leadership role, which marks the launch of a new line of business for PVTB.

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CRE Loan Values Continue Steady Improvement

The Debt Exchange recently released its commercial loan report for January, and the findings indicate that loan values are continuing to rise steadily, following the trend of the past 12 months. According to data from DebtX, values for commercial real estate loans stood at 79.

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HARP Shows Pull Even While Refi Applications Dip: MBA


The refinance share of mortgage applications broke with several weeks of activity by falling below 80 percent last week, even while more borrowers took advantage of the expanded Home Affordable Refinance Program. The Mortgage Bankers Association said in a weekly survey that mortgage application volume contracted by 0.3 percent from the week before, while the index covering it dropped 9.4 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis. The Refinance Index climbed down by 2.2 percent from the week before.

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eLynx Announces New National Platform From ADS

Accurate Document Service, Inc., has launched a new national platform. A long time corporate partner of ADS, eLynx announced that the document prep company will begin creation and delivery of closing documentation on a nationwide basis.

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