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Panel Debates on Qualified Mortgage Regulations

By clarifying the qualified residential mortgage (QRM) and QM (qualified mortgage) rules, regulators could attract private investors back into the mortgage market, Michael Held, president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, told the audience at the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Annual Conference and Expo in Chicago Monday.

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Congressman Defends Firms’ ‘Good Samaritan’ Purchases

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) is speaking out in defense of JPMorgan Chase, calling the U.S. government's lawsuit against the financial institution a case of "no good deed goes unpunished." New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a suit against JPMorgan for the alleged misconduct of Bear Stearns & Co. prior to JPMorgan's acquisition of the failing investment bank, but Frank says the bank is being punished for getting involved at the government's request.

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FOMC Maintains Policy Stance to Hold Down Rates

Fed

Pointing to slow employment growth and elevated unemployment, the Federal Open Market Committee said Wednesday the Federal Reserve will continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month. At the same time, the FOMC said it would maintain the target federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and expected the "exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate are likely to be warranted at least through mid-2015."

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FHFA House Price Index Continues Ascent in August

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) continued its upward crawl in August, rising 0.7 percent from July and 4.7 percent from August 2011, according to a release from the agency. The August index is down 15.9 percent from its peak in April 2007 and is at roughly the same level as June 2004's index. Regionally, all divisions reported year-over-year price increases in August, with prices in the Mountain division showing the most growth at 11.4 percent.

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The Bond Exchange to Offer Exclusive NAMB Mortgage Bonds

The National Association of Mortgage Brokers, NAMB, recently announced a partnership with The Bond Exchange to offer mortgage license bonds to all members and their companies. The Bond Exchange has a reputation for negotiating bond prices that are at least as low and sometimes lower than other bond issuers.

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Michigan Real Estate Companies Partner to Expand Services

In Michigan, Edward Surovell Realtors has teamed up with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Already the top-selling company in the state's Southeastern region, Surovell Realtors has now become a part of the fourth largest real estate organization in the United States.

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New Homes Sales Hit 30-Month High in September

New home sales jumped 5.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted average annualized rate of 389,000, the highest rate since April 2010, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the report to show a sales pace of 385,000. The month-to-month sales improvement was the strongest since February, when sales improved 27,000, or 8.0 percent. While sales numbers improved, both the median and average sales price of a new home dropped.

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Impac Mortgage Welcomes New VP, Operations Manager

New

Impac Mortgage has a new face to help lead its Correspondent Lending Division. Judy Treichler has joined the company as VP and operations manager. Treichler has 15 years of experience in mortgage operations with a focus on customer service, process improvement, and quality control.

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