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Servicing

Dodd-Frank Cheered, Jeered, as Moody’s Downgrades Big Banks

In a surprise move, Moody's Investors Service slashed credit ratings for mortgage giants Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo Wednesday afternoon, citing concerns that the federal government may not rush to pick up their remains and bail out the institutions in another liquidity crisis. Critics and advocates of the Dodd-Frank Act used the downgrades to alternately justify the legislation or undermine it in the national square. The downgrades arrive amid a slew of bad times for the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós largest mortgage lenders.

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Economists: Fed Buy-Up Will Do Little for Housing

Fed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke again made waves Wednesday with an announcement that the central bank plans to sell $400 billion in short-term Treasuries to keep a heel on still-low interest rates and offset widespread fears that the U.S. economy may soon enter a downturn. The move follows successive efforts from the Fed, which more recently pledged to keep interest rates low until 2013. Speaking with MReport, economists largely panned the effort.

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Credit Union Turning to Technology

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) is enhancing its technology platforms with the help of LenderLive Network Inc. With the use of LenderLive's loan fulfillment program, DCU will now have improved processing, underwriting, and closing procedures. DCU, the largest credit union in New England, serves clients in all states nationwide, and the company cites rising demand as the chief catalyst behind selecting the new software initiative.

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Mortgage Applications Tick Up 0.6% on Low Rates

application

Mortgage application volume crept up from last week, with refinancing activity leaping ahead of purchases, according to a weekly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Stacks of applications around the nation thickened by less than 1 percent from the previous week, largely as a result of climbing mortgage rates. The Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, a measure of total application volume by the trade group, pulled together several indices that reflect volume.

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Zillow Sees 30-Year Loan Rates Hit 3.94%

Real estate Web site Zillow differed by few turns over mortgage rates, publicizing a small uptick in real-time mortgage rates. The latest rates arrive amid turmoil in markets at home and record lows for mortgage rates recorded by Bankrate.com and Freddie Mac. According to the real estate Web site, the 30-year fixed-rate loan traded up by three basis points to hit 3.94 percent, up from 3.91 percent from last week ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the lowest such rate for the loan on record for the company since April 2008.

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After Irene, Housing Starts Fall 5% from July

Fewer-than-expected housing starts fell in line Tuesday with dismal forecasts threatening a global economic slowdown, with the Commerce Department and HUD jointly revealing a 5-percent slide back for single-family home construction over August. Market watchers slapped severe weather with the blame for a slump in new home starts across New England, while a nudge up in building starts framed the dark recession cloud with a silver lining. Housing starts plunged to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 over August.

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SSFCU Invests in Automated Technology

Mortgage Cadence, LLC, has a new client in the Security Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU). Taking advantage of Mortgage Cadence's enterprise lending solutions, the SSFCU is seeking to enhance its loan originations solutions. The company will utilize Mortgage Cadence's Orchestrator and Finale Document services to gain added compliance measures and document management.

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Cornerstone Names New President

Mark S. Higgins received a major promotion from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, with his recent appointment as company president. Additionally, Higgins will chair Cornerstone├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Direct Real Estate Investment Committee and continue his work with client investment strategy. Higgins ascension to president is part of Cornerstone's growth and expansion plan, and in his new role, he will oversee real estate investments, commercial property portfolios, acquisitions, asset management, and debt vehicles.

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Pacific Union Gets Preferred Investor Status

Pacific Union Financial LLC is the latest preferred investor with Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative. Through the partnership, Lenders One members will be able to expand their products lines in order to take on competitive aggregators. Lenders One, a national alliance of community mortgage bankers, product suppliers, and correspondent lenders, will gain support from Pacific Union for both its retail and wholesale platforms.

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Date: Expect Ability-to-Repay Rule in 2012

Fraud

Treasury special adviser Raj Date made headlines again after announcing Tuesday that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to finalize the ability-to-repay rule early next year. His remarks follow a series of other barnstorming speeches in the ramp-up for several rules. Once approved, the new rule, formerly proposed by the Federal Reserve, will broaden the scope of Regulation Z under Truth-in-Lending and prevent lenders from making loans to consumers without qualifying assets and income.

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