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360 Mortgage Group Expands Refi Offerings

360 Mortgage Group, a Texas-based privately-owned mortgage bank, recently announced the addition of two new mortgage refinance products to its inventory. The bank now offers customers access to the Veterans Affairs (VA) Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan Program and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Non-Credit Qualifying Streamline Product.

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Deloitte Consumer Spending Index Loses More Ground in December

Consumer spending continued its backslide in December, according to professional services firm Deloitte. Deloitte's Consumer Spending Index--which is made up of components measuring consumer tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages, and real home prices--slipped to 3.81 in December from November's reading of 3.96. The decline continues a downward trend that started in November after nearly a year of steady gains. Most of the drop in spending stems from an increase in unemployment claims following superstorm Sandy.

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Regulators Unveil Appraisal Rules for Lenders

Starting in January 2014, mortgage lenders will work under new rules governing the handling of appraisals and other home value estimates. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Friday the adoption of a new rule intended to improve consumer access to appraisal reports. In addition, the CFPB (in partnership with five other federal regulatory agencies) issued a rule establishing specific appraisal requirements for higher-priced mortgage loans and properties flipped within six months of purchase.

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Unemployment Drops in 22 States in December

Unemployment

Unemployment rates fell in 22 states in December but rose in 16, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday in its monthly Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) release. In November, unemployment rates dropped in 45 states. The unemployment rate based on the sum of the regional reports computed to 7.7 percent, slightly below the 7.8 percent national rate reported January 4.

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Vertical Capital Fund Fares Well in First Year

Vertical Capital income Fund (VCAPX), a fund that invests in mortgages and deeds of trust, outperformed its benchmark in its first fiscal year, according to a release from Irvine, California-based Vertical Capital Markets Group.

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