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Goldman Sachs Scoops Up $6.2B in AIG Mortgage Assets

Goldman Sachs scooped up $6.2 billion in risky mortgage bonds from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the central bank said Wednesday. The Maiden Lane II assets stem from the taxpayer-funded bailout of American International Group during the financial crisis. An original senior loan in the amount of $19.5 billion needed repayment, and Credit Suisse offered an initial inquiry to pick up the tab for Maiden II assets last fall. The federal government held out on an offer until it felt the sale would mete out a higher rate of return for the public.

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Clarity AMC Teams Up with ValuLink’s Technology

Clarity Appraisal Management Company is upgrading its technological support, recently announcing it has selected ValuLink as the company's software platform provider. With the addition of ValuLink's system, Clarity AMC will benefit from a customized, cloud-based appraisal management program designed to facilitate enhanced business processes.

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OMHHF Selects New President and CEO

A new president and CEO has been selected by Oppenheimer Multifamily Housing and Healthcare Finance, Inc. The company recently announced the appointment of James J. Moore III to the leadership role.

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Lawmakers Clear Bill for Vote to Shore Up FHA’s Fund

A House subcommittee cleared a bill Tuesday that would shore up the Federal Housing Administration's ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund by setting annual premiums for mortgage insurers and reworking the agency├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós financial controls. Lawmakers seated on the Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity subcommittee approved by voice vote the FHA Emergency Fiscal Solvency Act, fronting it for a full vote by the House. The FHA continues to alarm policymakers for failing to keep adequate capital on hand.

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Nearly 30% Believe Home Prices Will Rise in 2012: Fannie Mae

More Americans expect that home prices will recover over the course of 2012, just as they believe that mortgage rates will remain at all-time lows and more think the economy will enter an upswing. Mortgage giant Fannie Mae said in a January National Housing Survey that 28 percent of Americans believe that home prices will rise over the next year by 1 percent, up from 2 percent last month. Of the survey respondents, 8 percent said that interest rates for mortgage loans will decline in 2012, down 2 percent from December.

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Rule Requires Nonbank Lenders, Originators to Report Fraud

A financial fraud task force cleared a final rule Tuesday that requires nonbank mortgage lenders and originators to report suspicious activity related to mortgage fraud. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network said that originators and lenders will need to report any suspected fraudulent activity to the organization on an annual and quarterly basis. The new rule reflects the scope of authority undertaken by the Obama administration as it pursues mortgage and financial fraud. The new rule will take effect in two months.

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Builder Confidence Up for Q4 Single-Family Home Sales

Homebuilder confidence in the single-family market ended the fourth quarter last year on a climb uphill as the wider economy showed improvement. The National Association of Home Builders released a market index Tuesday that recorded a four-point increase year-over-year to 18 for homebuilders in the single-family sector. The index fielded improvements across the board year-over-year, with confidence about current sales ticking up four points to 17 and anticipated sales for the next six months up two points to 26.

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Fed President ‘Bullish’ on the U.S. Economy

The president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, James Bullard, made national headlines recently following his strong statements regarding the state of U.S. real estate. Among the revelations included in Bullard's February speech - the declaration that nation's housing markets have officially hit bottom. During his speaking engagement in Chicago, Bullard applied pressure to the Federal Open Market Committee, calling the group's decision to extend ultra-low interest rates until 2014 a looming disaster for the country. Bullard cited the decline in U.S. home prices and loss of wealth.

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Maverick Funding Expands Reverse Mortgage Network

In Maryland, Maverick Funding Corp. is rolling out a new branch of its subsidiary, Reverse Mortgage Network. Recently announcing the addition of 40 reverse mortgage loan officers from within Baltimore-based Great Oak Funding, Maverick will conduct its expansion during the first two quarters of 2012.

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BB&T Acquires Leading Insurance Company

Through its recent acquisition of property insurance company Crump Group Inc., BB&T Corporation has doubled its wholesale insurance business. Based in New Jersey, Crump is among the nation's leading providers of wholesale commercial insurance, as well as the largest independent wholesale distributor of life insurance in the U.S.

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