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Origination

Vertical Capital Launches New Mortgage-Based Fund

Vertical Capital Markets Group has announced the debut of the mortgage-based Vertical Capital Income Fund. Targeting the development of a quality portfolio of mortgages for investors, Vertical's newly launched project seeks to capitalize on low-priced loans.

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Zillow Sees New Record Lows for Mortgage Rates

Interest rates for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage smashed new records for Zillow, which reported current rates falling as low as 3.71 percent, the lowest in survey history for the real estate Web site. Zillow found the newest numbers for mortgage rates with Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, which it sources from anonymous quotes and releases weekly. The 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to new lows from 3.73 percent seen last week, and hovered at rates as low as 3.67 percent Monday morning. Zillow reported rates for 15-year loans falling to 3.03 percent.

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MBS Cases Drive Q3 Mortgage Litigation: Study

A surge in suits involving mortgage-backed securities propelled litigation cases for mortgage servicers to 218 over the third quarter last year, according to a recent index. Mortgage-backed securities litigation rose by 36 cases over the third quarter, up from 26 seen from the last quarter and just 12 in the third quarter 2010. Foreclosure-related suits also went up from 67 in the second quarter to 90 in the third quarter, followed shortly by litigation from investors, which leapt from 50 to 82 over the same time frame.

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Fraudster Allegedly Bilks Three Churches With Bad Loans

Making our mortgage fraud blotter Monday, news outlets reported stories involving a Wisconsin man and his wife who allegedly raked in $10 million and another man from Chicago purportedly responsible for hundreds of thousands in advanced fees he bilked from churches. In one story, the churches handed over thousands in advance fees in exchange for capital for multimillion-dollar loans, while in another a married couple went through sham buyers to siphon $10 million in funds from lenders with bank-owned properties at their disposal.

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Markets Lift With Job Growth, Home Prices, Permits

Job growth, appreciating home prices, and fewer scuttled single-family housing permits helped improve 76 housing markets over the last six months, according to an index released Monday. The National Association of Home Builders and First American Title Insurance Company released a joint index to measure improving markets against these criteria. Cities that made the index included Dallas, Des Moines, and Jacksonville, with Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, and Texas garnering the most of any states in improving markets.

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Americans Feel More Confident About Housing: Survey

Consumer sentiment climbed higher last month despite historically low conditions, with Americans by and large feeling more optimistic about housing, according to Fannie Mae. In conducting its December National Housing Survey, the GSE polled 1,000 respondents with questions about the economy and housing conditions at large. The big picture? More Americans expect a better New Year for their financial circumstances, higher home prices and mortgage rates, and steadily improving conditions for the housing market. Sixty-four percent reported wanting to buy their next home.

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Home Prices Slid Back 2.1% in 2011: Clear Capital

Home prices fell year-over-year by 2.1 percent in 2011 but at the slightest clip unseen since 2006, with forecasts for a welcome appreciation on the way in 2012, according to Clear Capital. The real estate research organization offered up the numbers in a Home Data Index Market Report it releases monthly. What do the numbers say? Home prices sagged in early 2011 but lifted as the market underwent some stabilization and more bank-owned properties left the housing supply. The report suggested that home prices could inch forward by 0.2 percent, with many markets ready to stabilize.

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HSBC Forms New Legal Panel for Borrowers

In international news, HSBC has announced the formation of a company panel devoted to extending legal aid to its mortgage borrowers. The panel, which will be made up of solicitors and licensed conveyancers, will target the provision of required legal services for those purchasing a home mortgage via HSBC.

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Duke: Tight Credit May Be to Blame for Slow Recovery

Still-tight credit supply is at fault for anemic demand in the housing market, preventing a full-fledged recovery from exerting itself, according to one governor on the Federal Reserve Board. Delivering a presentation before trade groups in Virginia earlier Friday, Fed governor Elizabeth Duke faulted underwriting and lending standards, among other market forces, for delaying financial support for homeowners. She said tight credit conditions persist even when the GSEs and FHA offer lenders a number of opportunities to shield themselves from additional risk.

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