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Buy Buy Brooklyn: Hall Street Listing Has Artistic Legacy

The former Brooklyn home of legendary artists and one-time couple Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe is on the market for $1 million. Located in Clinton Hill, the property's price tag reflects Brooklyn's increasing popularity, but according to Zillow, the singer and photographer were lucky enough to snag the townhouse for just $80 per month back in the 60s.

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MountainView Unloads $487M in Fannie Mae MSRs

MountainView Servicing Group announced Monday that it completed the sale of three bulk packages of mortgage servicing rights for Fannie Mae loans. The Denver-based subsidiary of MountainView Capital Holdings completed the sale on July 31. All packages were sold without bifurcation of seller and servicer representations and warranties. The three packages had a combined unpaid principal balance of $487 million and contained mostly conventional fixed-rate product secured by properties located across the country.

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Banks Ease Lending Terms to Meet Mortgage Demand

Commercial banks eased standards for residential mortgage loans to meet a sharp increase in demand in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve reported Monday in its quarterly survey of bank lending standards. According to the quarterly survey, a net 52.5 percent of bank officers responding to the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey reported increased demand for traditional mortgage loans in the second quarter compared with a net 30.2 percent reporting stronger demand in the first quarter.

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Home Prices Expected to Rise Over Next Two Years

Shrinking inventory and shifts in sales composition have provided a foothold for housing prices to start climbing, according to Fiserv, Inc. The company released its Case-Shiller Home Price Insights Monday, showing that after six years of decline, home prices are finally starting to stabilize. Prices increased in 40 percent of the surveyed 384 metro areas in the first quarter of 2012, and the report showed that it's actually cheaper to buy than rent in many U.S. markets. Single-family home prices increased in 151 out of 384 metro areas in the first quarter of the year.

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Sterling Bancorp Completes Acquisition of Universal Mortgage

Universal Mortgage, Inc., has been acquired by Sterling Bancorp and its subsidiary, Sterling National Bank. Through the agreement between the New York-based companies, Universal's principals and their related teams will join Sterling's mortgage lending operations. Louis J. Cappelli, Sterling Bancorp's chairman and CEO stated, "We are acquiring a strong source of mortgage production that will complement our existing mortgage banking business and further enhance our significant level of non-interest income."

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Genworth Financial’s USMI Confirmed as NAFCU Partner

NAFCU Services Corporation has announced the renewal of an agreement with the organization's Preferred Partner, Genworth Financial's U.S. Mortgage Insurance division. The group recently confirmed USMI's partnership status, effectively extending the designation granted to USMI in 2011.

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Own a Penthouse in Manhattan’s Famous Soho 25

A penthouse perch in Manhattan's Soho 25 tower, a favorite building among Big Apple's celebrity set, has hit the market for $8 million. According to the New York Post, the duplex loft currently boasts bold-faced neighbors including television stars Padma Lakshmi and Julianna Marguiles.

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Housing Scorecard Reveals Slippery Recovery

Though the skies above the housing market appear to be clearing, the July edition of the Obama administration├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Housing Scorecard warns of another storm to come. HUD and Treasury Department released the latest scorecard Friday, providing a look at a market in recovery but threatened by an expected increase in foreclosure activity. According to the report, foreclosure starts and completions both declined in June, painting a picture of continued recovery. However, officials expect foreclosure activity to pick up in coming months as firms lift delays in foreclosure processing.

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LPS Settles With Missouri AG in Signing Errors Case

Lender Processing Services, Inc., announced Thursday that an agreement was reached between subsidiary DocX, LLC, and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. The agreement between the parties resulted in a dismissal of criminal charges pending against DocX. In February 2012, Koster obtained criminal indictments against DocX related to its alleged role in the mortgage-document surrogate signing scandal of 2010. Officials alleged that DocX earned approximately $363,000 in total revenue from mortgage documents with signing errors between 2008 and 2010.

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Home Prices Increase In May, as Delaware Leads: LPS

Lender Processing Services released Friday its latest Home Price Index report, showing that prices increased both month-over-month and year-over-year. The report, based on residential real estate transaction data as of the end of May, revealed that the home price index for the month was $202,000, a 0.9 percent month-over-month increase and a 3.2 percent increase from the start of the year. In addition, May's index represented a 0.4 percent year-over-year increase.

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