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Walker & Dunlop Names New VP of Closing Unit

Walker & Dunlop, Inc., announced that Douglas C. Blake has been hired as senior vice president of the company's closing department. According to Walker & Dunlop's recent release, Blake will manage the department, including all aspects of the loan closing process.

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Mortgage Activity Increases as Rates Find New Lows


More consumers are applying for a mortgage - on both the refinance and homebuying fronts - and taking advantage of exceptionally low borrowing costs. The Mortgage Bankers Association says its composite measurement of total mortgage application volume rose 2.8 percent last week as all fixed-rate loan products posted their lowest average rates in the history of the trade group's survey. With mortgage rates resuming their fall, housing affordability remains extremely high even as home values head higher across much of the country.

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Report Reveals Year-Over-Year Rise in New Residential Sales

Tallying new residential sales for August, the latest report conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed a 27.7 percent increase in sales on a year-over-year basis. However, July numbers bested findings from August, with sales flagging 0.3 percent month-to-month. By region, results from the survey revealed that the West and the Northeast have experienced the strongest improvements in the number of new homes sold year-to-date as of August.

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P. Diddy Lists Manhattan Party Pad for $8.5M

Homebuyers in Manhattan have the chance to live like a hip hop mogul, now that P. Diddy has listed his New York City apartment for $8.5 million. Calling it an "entertainer's dream," Zillow reports that the music man transitioned the three-bedroom property into a more open space, turning the pad into a one-bedroom abode with an enormous media and piano room.

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Mortgage Litigation Index Shows Quarterly Declines

The most recent Mortgage Litigation Index showed that legal activity in the industry slowed its pace between the final quarter of 2011 and the opening quarter of 2012. According to figures from the first-quarter of the year, the number of total lawsuits dropped from 244 to 216 between quarters. However, the index indicated that while case activity declined on a quarter-to-quarter basis, legal action was up year-over-year, with litigation related to compliance, loan titles, and whistleblower action displaying especially strong increases.

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United Financial Announces Retirement of 28-Year Veteran

United Financial Bancorp, Inc., is losing its long-time chief operating officer and executive vice president. The company recently announced that COO and EVP Keith E. Harvey will retire, effective December 31, after having served United Financial for 28 years. United Financial's current chief lending officer (CLO) and EVP, J. Jeffrey Sullivan, will succeed Harvey as COO following his transition at the end of 2012. To fill Sullivan's previous role, United Financial has promoted Charles R. Valade as the bank's new CLO.

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Redwood Trust Announces New Chairman of the Board

Redwood Trust, Inc., is making significant changes to its directorship, recently announcing the departure of current chairman of the board, George E. Bull, III, who officially stepped down from his leadership role on September 18. Following Bull's transition, Redwood unanimously elected Richard D. Baum as the company's new chairman for its board of directors.

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