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Home Prices Advance for Third Straight Month: CoreLogic

For the third month in a row, home prices posted both yearly and monthly gains, according to CoreLogic's May Home Price Index report. When including distressed sales, home prices increased 2 percent in May 2012 from May 2011 and moved up by 1.8 percent month-over-month. When excluding distressed sales, prices made even greater strides, with the year-over-year increase at 2.7 percent and month-over-month increase at 2.3 percent. Distressed sales include short sales and REO transactions, according to CoreLogic.

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MBA’s Stevens, SunTrust Backtrack on Leadership Change

The Mortgage Bankers Association announced Monday that president and CEO David H. Stevens will continue with the organization instead of joining SunTrust Mortgage as originally planned. SunTrust had announced that Stevens would join the company as president, a move that would leave the trade group to pursue a new president and CEO. "The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for me personally and professionally. After serious thought and consideration, I simply cannot leave the MBA at such a critical time for the industry and the association," Stevens said in a statement.

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Barclays Chairman Resigns Following Lending Rate Scandal

Barclays released a statement Monday morning announcing that chairman Marcus Agius is stepping down in the wake of a scandal that rocked the bank. This follows news from last week that Barclays had manipulated interbank lending rates starting as early as 2007. Barclays was fined ├âÔÇÜ├é┬ú290 million (approximately $450 million) by British and U.S. authorities for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate. The Barclays board will commence the search for a successor immediately. Agius will remain in post until a successor is found.

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WFG Title Expanding in Orange County, California

WFG Title Insurance Company is expanding its industry footprint. The organization, which is part of the Williston Financial Group family of companies, recently announced plans to open a retail title office in Irvine, California.

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Soccer Star Lists U.S. Estate, Considers U.K. Move

Superstar soccer player Landon Donovan has put his California estate on the market. According to Zillow's blog, Donovan has listed his home in Manhattan Beach, California, for $4.295 million. The property, which was once featured on MTV Cribs, boasts two separate compounds on site.

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Platinum Data Announces Additions to Board of Directors

Two new board members have been appointed at Platinum Data, and the valuation technology provider is preparing to welcome seasoned executives Hunter Atkins and John LaMacchia to the company's directorship. In an official statement, Platinum noted that the company hopes to capitalize on their leadership "during the next phase of its growth and expansion."

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CoreLogic Rolls Out New Data Initiative for RMBS Analysis

CoreLogic has launched a new provision for clients using the company's private-label residential mortgage-backed securities dataset. California-based CoreLogic recently announced the incorporation of anonymized servicer stop advance data, which will be available free of charge for the company's existing and new RMBS-data customers. The trustee-submitted data from CoreLogic will be at the loan-level, as opposed to aggregated. CoreLogic's stop advance data will include history dating back to January 2009.

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Credit Expected to Improve Despite Tight Underwriting

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released the findings of its 18th annual Survey of Credit Underwriting Practices, showing that credit writing standards were mostly unchanged from the year before. The survey, which included federal savings associations for the first time, examined the underwriting standards of 87 banks with assets of $3 billion or more in the 12-month period ending February 29. Underwriting standards largely remained the same despite some easing in standards for retail and commercial products.

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Construction Starts Show ‘Slight’ Improvement

Home construction starts are on the rise in 2012, and updates to a recent survey from the McGraw-Hill Companies indicate a forecasted increase of 2 percent for the year. According to projections from the 2012 Dodge Construction Outlook Midyear Update, total construction starts will hit $445 billion, besting the $434 billion recorded during 2011. Compiled by McGraw-Hill Construction, the outlook report calls the predicted performance "slightly better than" flat in a still-recovering economy dogged by recurring problems.

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Mortgagebot Survey Reveals Advantages for Community Lenders

A new survey from Mortgagebot includes promising findings for community-based lenders hoping to increase their market share. The technology company's recent report shows that upticks in visibility and accessibility via online channels can help level the playing field for smaller lenders competing with the nation's big banks. Mortgagebot's study revealed specific strategies that are enabling the company's clients to capitalize on market share including generating better borrower-facing accessibility online, targeting new customers through an online approach that is tailored to a particular demographic.

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