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Senate Committee Approves FHA, Fed Nominees

Members of the Senate Banking Committee voted Tuesday to send nominees for top posts at the Federal Housing Administration and Federal Reserve Board to the full Senate floor. Lawmakers approved FHA Acting Commissioner and former BRIDGE Housing CEO Carole Galante 13 to 9 on a largely party-line vote, with only Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) breaking ranks with GOP faithful to cast in favor of the nominee. Thomas Hoenig meanwhile moved to the Senate floor on a unanimous vote.

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FHLB Recognizes West Coast Bank With Community Award

In Seattle, Washington, one lender has cause for celebration as we head into the new year. West Coast Bank has been named as the recipient of the 2011 Community Spirit Award, which is given annually by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. The special honor is extended yearly to a financial institution that is recognized as exemplifying the spirit of community partnership in creating affordable housing and economic development opportunities in its immediate region.

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Commercial Sector Forecasts Show Uptick in 2012

The commercial real estate market in the U.S. appears set for an uptick in 2012, but don't expect a headline-making rise. According to recent research from Jones Lang LaSalle, economic indicators are pointing to a modest improvement in the commercial segment, and data from the company also reveals that rumors of a double dip in the sector during the coming year were premature. Numbers from the survey call for an increase in total transaction volume of 15 to 20 percent.

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NAHB Criticizes Mortgage-Fee Raise in Payroll Tax

At least one key trade group opposes plans by some lawmakers to introduce a raise for mortgage fees in a payroll tax extension. Congress is essentially proposing to raise taxes on millions of potential home buyers in order to pay for a payroll tax cut and other non-housing legislative initiatives, NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen said in a statement. Lawmakers are busy cobbling together a payroll tax plan this week that would extend current rates for employees and their employers.

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DebtX Announces Sale of $334M in Non-Performing Loans

DebtX announced Monday that it is now the exclusive agent for a sale involving $334 million in loans from a real estate fund that collapsed and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In a statement, the company said that loans involved in the sale primarily involve Acquisition, Development and Construction loans backed by land from nine U.S. states. Eighteen loans will go for sale. This includes tens of millions of dollars in non-performing loans from California and Wyoming.

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Five Mortgage Fraudsters Make Monday Fraud Blotter

Joining a list of other mortgage fraudsters Monday, three Cleveland residents received jail time for their role in a multi-million-dollar scheme while two others in Maryland and Virginia saw their names in fine print over $700,000 in fraud. Home went into foreclosure as a result of much of the alleged crimes. MReport collected the stories from a bevy of news sources that include the FBI and a Cleveland news outlet. This comes on the heels of other mortgage fraud activity as it increases nationally.

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Online Mortgage Resource Promises 24-Hour Quotes

Borrowers using Mortgage Lenders USA will now have the advantage of faster quotes when seeking a mortgage. The company announced recently that it would initiate a 24-hours or less policy in extending a mortgage quote to inquiring parties.

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Flagstar Completes Sale of Georgia Bank Branches

In Georgia, Flagstar Bancorp has officially sold its 27-branch retail bank franchise to PNC Bank, N.A. The deal, which was announced earlier this year, has reached its conclusion, and PNC Bank will now take possession of all leases associated with the locations, as well as all associated business and retail deposits. The purchase agreement for its Georgia locations follows Flagstar's December sell off of its Indiana branches. The total number of bank franchises sold stands at 49.

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Kingpin, Married Couple Make Mortgage Fraud Blotter

Courts across the country slapped defendants with charges over mortgage fraud this week, as a title agent, her husband, and a Brockton man received charges and a so-called kingpin from New York saw the next four to 12 years of his life consigned to prison. MReport culled stories from multiple news outlets to deliver the mortgage fraud blotter Friday for the past week. Acts of wire fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft populated the accounts of defendants and convicts alike.

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Independent Mortgage Bankers Double Q3 Profit: MBA

Brokers and loan officers with independent mortgage banks and subsidiaries saw profit margins for their loans more than double on average over the last quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group released its findings in the Third Quarter 2011 Mortgage Bankers Performance Report, which it drummed up with production data reports from fewer than 300 companies. The MBA reported that loan originations averaged $1,263 over the third quarter.

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