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MBA: Expect 2012 Originations to Hit $900B

Fewer refinance applications will drive mortgage originations substantially lower over 2012, with loan volume plunging from $1.2 trillion over 2011 to $900 billion over the new year, according to recent study by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group tied historically low mortgage rates, plodding existing-home sales and home prices, and a laggardly unemployment rate to the notion that the U.S. will continue to experience trouble ahead in mortgage originations.

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It’s Official: Regulatory Agencies Release Draft Volcker Rule

Releasing the hotly anticipated Volcker Rule Tuesday, federal regulatory agencies proposed banning banks from deploying their own capital as collateral in bets on uncertain investments. Enacting Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the draft regulation vaguely proposes a two-month wait period for financial institutions trading in on investments, more managerial heft from executives, and guidelines that discourage institutions from risk-hedging, among other requirements.

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Real Estate Company Takes High Honors

Nationwide, RE/MAX has ranked among the Franchise Times Top 200 annual survey. Coming in at number 15 on the elite list, RE/MAX received its third consecutive award within the franchise competition this year. Joining other top organizations including McDonalds, 7-Eleven, and Subway, RE/MAX ranked among survey honorees thanks in part to its worldwide sales volume.

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FDIC Files Suit Against Former Georgia Bank

Even as fewer banks fail nationally, the FDIC recently filed suit against former 11 directors and officers of the institution for which it now serves as receiver, with the goal to collect $23.92 million in damages from the defendants. Citing negligence and oversight failure, the federal agency filed suit against Alpha Bank & Trust, an Alpharetta, Georgia-based bank closed by state regulators in 2008. The FDIC claimed $214.5 million in approximate costs to the Deposit Insurance Fund.

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QuickenLoans’ Mortgage-Fees Dispute Reaches Supreme Court

A case over unearned mortgage fees reached the desk of the nation's highest judicial authority Tuesday, as the Supreme Court accepted to hear a suit over unearned fees that mortgage lenders allegedly charged their borrowers. The defendant: Detroit-based QuickenLoans, which an amicus curae brief, filed by borrowers in Louisiana, accuses the lender of failing to abide by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the 1974 law responsible for banning financial benefits for lenders and servicers involved in federal loans.

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Bank Shares Lift on News of a Europe Bailout Deal

Stocks and shares for mortgage lenders and homebuilding companies got swept into a market updraft following news reports that major European economies had agreed to bail out their Mediterranean counterparts. Several weeks of speculation trail the news, with investors fleeing, then returning to shares and stocks on wobbly notions that Europe├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós two biggest economies, France and Germany, will pull debt-ridden laggards Greece, Italy, and potentially others away from a default scenario.

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Reports: Leaked Volcker Memo Stirs Markets, Industries

A recently leaked memo outlining the proposed Volcker rule sent market watchers and industry insiders into a tizzy, according to multiple news outlets. The tentative rule itself ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô required by the Dodd-Frank Act and named after former Fed chief Paul Volcker ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô remains in development at federal regulatory agencies like the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The proposed rule defines short- and long-term proprietary trading and rules out third-party brokers, agents, and custodians.

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NewDay Experiencing New Growth in Servicing

NewDay Financial has another reason to celebrate, announcing that the company's servicing portfolio has ballooned to more than $500 million in government loans. News of the entity's growth within its servicing sector directly follows NewDay's recent honor from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, which named NewDay as the recipient of its annual Corporate Partner award.

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New Vice President for zIngenuity

Risk management and loss mitigation company zIngenuity, Inc., has hired a new vice president of business development, with the recent addition of Bob Voll. Charged with handling all sales and marketing activities, Voll will also work with zIngenuity├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós leadership team as the company prepares new product initiatives.

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