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Mortgage Applications Bounce Back Following Superstorm Sandy

Following a rocky October, mortgage applications picked up for the week ending November 9, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. The survey's Market Composite Index increased 12.6 percent from the previous week. In a commentary, Capital Economics property economist Paul Diggle said "the balance of evidence increasingly suggests that mortgage-dependent buyers are starting to make more of a contribution to the housing recovery."

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Mortgage Delinquency Shows Continued Improvement in Q3

The national mortgage delinquency rate fell further in Q3 2012 to 5.41 percent, TransUnion reported Tuesday. The Q3 rate is a decrease from 5.49 percent in Q2 2012 and a near 8 percent drop from 5.88 percent in Q3 2011, according to the credit bureau. While the national delinquency rate has been making progress, Tim Martin, group VP of U.S. housing in TransUnion's financial services business unit, said, "we still have a long way to go to reach more 'normal' conditions of a delinquency rate in the 1-2% range for the U.S. average."

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AIG CEO Reveals Plans to Expand Mortgage Business

American International Group (AIG) is making plans to move away from its savings and loan business and toward mortgage investment, CEO Bob Benmosche revealed in an interview with Reuters. The company's mortgage insurance subsidiary, United Guaranty Corporation (UGC), has seen steady growth after adopting a risk-based pricing strategy. However, Benmosche said AIG is interested in moving beyond mortgage insurance and is looking at ways to get involved more directly.

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Agency Suits Against Goldman, Deutsche Bank to Go On

Two more banks have lost in their attempts to dismiss claims of misconduct in sale of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote rejected motions filed by Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, two of 16 defendants brought before her court by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Cote's rulings on both motions cite previous judgments made on similar arguments brought to her by JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and UBS--all of which also failed.

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