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B of A Moves to Shut Down Correspondent Lending Unit

An inconclusive search for a buyer will lead Bank of America to shutter the mortgage correspondent unit it had originally hoped to sell. The move means the mortgage giant will wipe its hands of the correspondent business by yearend, with a series of transitions in store for the 1,200 or so employees currently on the payroll. It also tracks a broader strategy deployed by the bank to trim billions in expenses, shore up liquidity, and fend off suits over mortgage-backed securities from federal agencies.

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Mortech Heralds New Lending Platform

Mortgage software company Mortech, Inc., found cause to celebrate with the launch of an industry-first Lending Management Platform, available via a Web site devoted entirely to the brand-new MarksmanLMP. According to the company, the aim of the dual launch is to streamline and simplify online lending processes.

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Survey: Most Real Estate Investors Expanding Portfolios

Over eight in 10 U.S. real estate investors are making moves to shore up their portfolios even as talk of a double-dip recession persists, according to a recent survey. More shocking: most of the survey respondents parted ways with Americans at large by agreeing that the economy is headed in a northerly direction. Conducting the survey in early August, Colliers International, a real estate services company, deployed the 2011 Colliers International Global Investor Sentiment Survey as a way to measure investor appetite for risk and optimism.

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What the Lower Conforming Loan Limits Mean

Making good on promises by policymakers from both parties, Congress allowed the $729,750 threshold for conforming loans with federal guarantees to expire Saturday, pinching high-end borrowers in a marginal number of counties and potentially leaving a swath of new market share for private bankers. Homebuyers looking for more than $625,000 in financing for their mortgage loans will accordingly fall short of eligibility requirements needed for federal insurance.

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MReport Exclusive: 6 Ways for Originators to Survive Today’s Market

Despite mortgage rates hitting rock bottom Thursday, few analysts expect an uptick in demand anytime soon, with consumers concerned about their job security, underwriting standards still tight, and a foreclosure glut competing with home construction. Given tough times, MReport canvassed the industry ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô online, in the field, and on the speaking circuit ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and uncovered 12 strategies relevant to originators in a tough market. Six of these hot tips made it into MReport's online exclusive.

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New Pilot Program Targets Affordable Housing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development recently announced a new pilot program targeting reduced regulatory burdens for those developing affordable housing. In conjunction co-creators of the project, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the initiative focuses on helping developers and individual owners, in addition to easing the way for state and federal agencies to serve low-income renters. The USDA-RD and HUD have approved a first draft of a Memorandum of Understanding.

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Bernanke On the Fed’s Future Economic Initiatives

The Federal Reserve has gone on record again regarding the current state of the U.S. economy. Chairman of the Fed, Ben Bernanke, spoke out recently confirming the organization's commitment to take whatever steps necessary should the nation's economic standing continue its slide. Noting the Fed's willingness to make non-traditional decisions and policy changes in light of the country's challenging economy, Bernanke emphasized efforts to fiercely monitor price trends during a speech in Cleveland, Ohio.

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CFPB’s New Mortgage Disclosure Initiatives Gaining Traction

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a strong supporter in the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. Recently reviewing the updated mortgage disclosure forms produced by the CFPB, the NAEBA responded to the organization with a letter of commendation. Though citing the CFPB's thorough assessment of borrowers' needs within the project, the NAEBA also submitted some suggestions based on its evaluation of the mortgage disclosure initiative, which is part of the "Know Before You Owe" program.

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SEC Rolls Out New Legal Tactics Targeting Civil Suits

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced a new game plan when it comes to targeting companies and individuals under fire for allegations stemming from the mortgage meltdown. The SEC will now update enforcement procedures; moving away from difficult to prove filings that are geared to prove purposeful wrongdoing, recklessness, or fraud, the SEC will reduce its burden with civil cases that require only proof of negligence. The SEC has utilized similar tactics as as supplement to more intensive accusations.

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20 Floridians, Former Company Exec Accused of Mortgage Fraud

A former mortgage company executive and 20 South Floridians found themselves in a hot seat Thursday as authorities pressed charges for roughly $8 million and $40 million in mortgage fraud activity, respectively, according to multiple news outlets. The news follows a mortgage fraud report that forecasts $73 billion in mortgage fraud over the rest of the year. MReport culled information from two news sources for the mortgage fraud blotter Thursday.

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