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Housing Markets Mixed as Debt Talks Splinter

As splintering debt-ceiling negotiations unnerved analysts and ratings agencies, Treasury yields and mortgage rates remained relatively stable over the weekend, reflecting a widespread consensus among investors and market watchers that partisan divisions would soon give way to a grand bargain between policymakers. CNN reported Sunday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) refused to agree to a set of conditions at the White House, ending dramatic four-month-long negotiations.

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Fannie Forecasts Declines Over 2011, 2012

Fannie Mae released a July economic outlook Friday tying a slowdown in the economy at large to a sluggish pace in the housing sector a consequence of tight credit, a dearth in existing-home sales, and weak gains across important industries. The mortgage giant predicted a dip in growth over the rest of the year, falling from 2.8 percent to 2.4 percent. Besides restrained credit expansion, the tepid housing recovery is another reason for the modest pace of economic growth seen in the current recovery, Fannie said in the report.

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American Land Title CEO Takes Leave

In a statement released Monday, the American Land Title Association announced the departure of CEO Kurt Pfotenhaur, who plans to take over as EVP and vice chairman at the publically traded First American Title Insurance Company. Pfotenhaur arrives at First American with over 26 years of experience in politics and the financial services industry. As CEO of Washington, D.C.-based ALTA, he frequently rubbed elbows with senior contacts at the White House and Congress.

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Companies, Industry Groups Continue QRM Rule Fight

Real estate and relocation servicers provider Realogy Corporation became the latest in a string of companies to file critical commentary with regulatory authorities overseeing the Qualified Residential Mortgage rule, the embattled proposal that industry groups say would crimp housing by forcing homebuyers to front 20 percent in down payments. Realogy joins a host of other critics, including the Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy, 320 members of Congress, and some 44 private organizations.

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Mortgage Numbers Up for Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp had a great spring season, judging by the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós scorching second quarter numbers. The bank estimates its quarterly results were the best on record since 2007, and the dramatic, 58 percent increase in mortgage banking revenue between the first and second quarters of this year contributed heavily to the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós recent success. Total net income during Fifth Third's second quarter was $337 million, demonstrating a significant rise quarter-over-quarter.

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BancTec Boasts New Platform

BancTec has rolled out an advanced mortgage servicing platform, geared toward new and existing lenders in need of accelerated and streamlined customer support, with considerable advantages for new users.

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CFPB Proposes First Rule

Signaling that it means business, the newly opened Consumer Financial Protection Bureau undertook its first major stab at the rule-making process by issuing a proposed rule that would shift alternate mortgage origination from the state to federal level nationwide. The rule applies to Regulation D under the Alternative Mortgage Transaction Party Act. If enacted, it would enact a Dodd-Frank provision by allowing state-licensed mortgage originators to make alternative loans even states with laws that prohibit such loans.

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House Passes Bill to Revamp CFPB

Passing a bill aimed at reforming the agency, House lawmakers showed no sign of stopping in their attempts to reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just one day after it officially opened its doors. On Thursday the lower chamber pushed through H.R. 1315, titled the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvements Act, which ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô contingent on Senate action and a bicameral reconciliation process ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô would swap the director for a commission and strengthen the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

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