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CFPB Releases Qualified Mortgage Criteria, Establishes Legal Protections


After many long months of waiting, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has finally issued its finalized "qualified mortgage" (QM) rule designed to protect both consumers and responsible lenders. One of the biggest provisions of the QM rule is the newly set Ability-to-Repay rule, which does away with so-called "no doc" and "low doc" mortgages. In addition, the CFPB explained there are two kinds of QMs that have different protective features for consumers and legal consequences for lenders.

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Initial Unemployment Claims Rise As 2013 Begins


First time claims for unemployment insurance rose 4,000 to 371,000 for the week ended January 5, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected claims to drop to 362,000 from the prior week [IMAGE] The previous week├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós report was revised downward to 367,000 from the originally reported 372,000, the first time since April and advance report of claims was revised lower.

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NAR Projects Record High for Housing Affordability in 2012

In November, the National Association of Realtors' Housing Affordability Index reached 198.2, up 1.5 points from a year ago. The association projects the index will achieve a record high of 194 for 2012. However, record high affordability doesn't necessarily translate into more homeowners, as "excessively tight underwriting precluded many would-be homebuyers from locking-in generational low interest rates," explained chief economist Lawrence Yun.

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Report: BofA Planning to Unload Another $100B in Servicing Rights

After announcing Monday the sale of nearly $306 billion in mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) on 2 million loans, Bank of America might be looking to unload a little more. Reuters first reported Tuesday that the bank is planning to sell rights on at least another $100 billion of mortgages. BofA is likely to announce more MSR sales in the next several weeks, according to two unnamed sources who spoke to Reuters. Sales of servicing rights have become more prevalent as costs rise and servicers fall to bankruptcy, leaving hungry institutions to purchase their MSRs.

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Quicken Loans Looks Back on Year of Success

Business boomed at Quicken Loans in 2012, the Detroit-based company announced. Quicken closed more than $70 billion in home loan volume throughout 2012, a 133 percent increase over the previous record of $30 billion set in 2011. The company also nearly doubled its number of full-time team members over the year and now employs more than 8,000 in offices in Detroit, Cleveland, and Scottsdale, Arizona, including almost 900 technology-related positions.

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Envoy Mortgage Expands FHA Loan Product Offerings

In Houston, Texas, Envoy Mortgage is enhancing its loan product offerings to start the new year. Currently operating mortgage retail branches in nearly every U.S. state, Envoy's customers will now have access to an expanded range of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) 203(k) mortgages.

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Minneapolis Home with Hollywood Past Lists for $2.895M

A home with a Hollywood past has hit the market in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for $2.895 million. Built at the turn of the century, the property was made famous in the 1970s thanks to its connection to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, on which the house's exterior was featured as the main character's abode.

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