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PulteGroup, Zillow To Give Away Luxury Home

Real estate website Zillow and housing heavyweight PulteGroup, Inc. are teaming up to give away a luxury home worth $350,000. The "I Want a New Home Sweepstakes" will change the life of one aspiring homeowner.

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CoreLogic: HARP 2.0 Will Help GSEs, Homeowners

Modifications in line for the Home Affordable Refinance Program from the Obama administration will buoy homeowners with negative equity and origination markets, but field few other benefits for investors in mortgage-backed securities, according to a new outlook. Analytics provider CoreLogic released a statement Monday demarcating HARP├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós benefits and problem areas, skewering assertions that the program will alleviate a chronic lack of demand and showing that economic troubles may persist despite government assistance.

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Bank Shares Plunge as Euro Bonds Infect MF Global

Multiple news reports faulted MF Global with fallout for stocks and shares among major lenders Monday as the New York Federal Reserve delisted the embattled securities firm. The Dow Jones industrial average spun into a 276-point tailspin to hit 11,955 points by end of day, taking with it the shares for several mortgage lenders that lifted last week when European leaders announced a bailout package for debt-ridden Greece. At least one news outlet said the downfall of MF Global lent credibility to the Volcker Rule.

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Major Mortgage Insurers See Margins Slip: MICA Report

In bad news for mortgage insurers, the big four U.S. companies saw their profit margins shrink year-over-year by more than a quarter in September, according to the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America. Insurers underwrote $4.9 billion in risk for mortgage lenders last month, substantially down from $6.9 billion in profit recorded by the trade group in September last year. The uptick in reported profit and underwritten policies reflects a series of ongoing problems for the industry at large.

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Big Four Release Earnings, Citing Economy, Litigation

Litigation fees, bold restructuring moves, and new regulation helped shape earnings figures over the third quarter for the nation's largest lenders and financial institutions in October. Along with numerous other banking holding companies and investment firms, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo released their reports to the media and investors over the past two weeks. The results: more mortgage lenders continue to exit the business, while financial institutions stepped up the public debate against onerous regulations.

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Hearing Portrays a Public Divided Over Dodd-Frank

As debate heats up about whether to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, witnesses testifying before the House Financial Services Committee Monday appeared as divided over the issue as the general public, with some criticizing the law and others praising it. The leaders of banks and credit unions largely panned the financial regulatory overhaul, highlighting the demand for more resources and manpower in compliance issues even as regulators themselves continue to scrutinize new loans. Others said that Dodd-Frank benefited the recovery.

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AHSMI Chooses Oracle for Online Enhancement

American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. (AHSMI) is taking advantage of a new way to ensure compliant, efficient collaboration with its partners. The company recently announced that it would begin using Oracle's WebCenter solutions to manage business processes for all mortgage-related activities with participating third-party loan investors.

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Weichert Turns To Tech for GSE Compliance

Weichert Financial Services is investing in technology, with the recent announcement that the company would begin utilizing a platform from InHouse Inc. to enhance its appraisal processing. Choosing InHouse to facilitate data delivery, Weichert is set to take advantage of fully integrated processing for management of its appraisal-related activities.

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OCC: Volcker Rule Will Cost Banks $1B to Comply

The recently proposed Volcker Rule will sap nearly $1 billion in revenue from the nation's banks as lenders spend more time, resources, and manpower complying with regulations, according to a recent government study. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency estimated that the rule as drafted by the FDIC, Federal Reserve, and other federal authorities will result in expenditures totaling $100 million for state, local, and other governments. The rule continues to stir controversy following its proposal earlier this month.

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Wells Fargo Celebrates a New Board Member

Wells Fargo has a new face to celebrate with the addition of Federico Pena to the board of directors for the major mortgage lender. Increasing the board├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós size to 16, Pena will serve on the audit and examination committee for Wells, according to a statement released by the lender.

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