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Trulia: More Renters Still Want to Own Homes

Even with new-home sales tanking and recession fears redoubling over August, more renters clung onto the hope of homeownership, with 59 percent still aspiring to pocket a pair of keys and ink their names to mortgages, according to Trulia. The consensus: more than half of all homeowners believe in making the home their most important investment. According to Trulia, 70 percent of survey respondents held firmly to the idea that homeownership is central to the American Dream.

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Economic Worries Trample on New-Home Sales Over August

Despite the lure of record-low mortgage rates, fewer consumers stepped out from behind the fear of a global economic slowdown to purchase new homes, curtailing new sales by 2.3 percent month-over-month in August. Market watchers chalked up a six-month dearth to consumers wary about their job security, stock markets, and the threat of a new recession. The Census Bureau signaled a fallback to 295,000 housing units on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 302,000 from July.

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Two New Banks Fail Despite Slowing Pace Nationally

Two financial institutions bucked a trendy crawl for bank failures by folding Friday, pushing the 2011 tally to 73. The FDIC swooped in to corral the fallout from the collapse of Nevada City-based Citizens Bank of Northern California and Norkfolk-based Bank of the Commonwealth, paying out for the former and keeping assets from the latter for disposition. California state regulators turned off the lights at Citizens Bank, while their Virginia counterparts shuttered the Bank of the Commonwealth.

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Fed: Lower Jumbo Loan Limits Unlikely to Crimp Markets

Ahead of lower limits for conforming jumbo loans, nearly assured in October as Congress disagrees even over stopgap spending bills, the Federal Reserve offered a revealing look at the market Friday by releasing a report on the health of the housing market. The consensus: falling limits will likely only nudge the jumbo loan market, not tip it over, as some critics claim. The Fed found that the current criteria for a jumbo fences in only 1.3 percent of all loans backed by GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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B of A Sells $880M Commercial Real-Estate Portfolio

Bank of America green-lighted another restructuring move Friday, with news breaking that the mortgage giant signed off on an $880-million selloff in commercial real-estate loans. Multiple news reports held that the portfolio, worth about $1 billion to a cluster of investors, will benefit from a bevy of discounts. Who benefits? According to multiple news outlets, a venture created by Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC, Invesco Ltd., and Square Mile Capital Management LLC will sop up the loans.

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Lawmaker: $34B in U.S. Assets Exposed to Europe Debt

With the European debt crisis underway, lawmakers convened a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday to address fears about systemic risks to the U.S. banking system as more euro zone markets falter. The verdict: billions of dollars in liquidity may face exposure to the European debt contagion ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a reality that U.S. authorities should continue to monitor without overreacting. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) said that some $34 billion in U.S. liquidity may be in potential exposure to a wave of euro zone troubled assets.

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Study: More Mortgage Professionals Choose Paperless Lending

More loan officers, underwriters, and attorneys are filing their loan documents and closing deals in a paperless environment, according to a recent survey. Xerox released a survey Wednesday that found some 61 percent of mortgage industry professionals are ditching their loan folders, logging in to online systems, and doing more business without paper. The seventh annual Path to Paperless survey revealed some 96 percent of respondents favor a workplace without paper.

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Churchill Snags Second Place Honors

The Nashville Business Journal has honored Churchill Mortgage within its annual list of the top 25 Fastest-Growing Companies. Ranking second on the prestigious roster, Churchill's programs offering traditional, FHA, and VA residential loans secured the company's strong placement.

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BancorpSouth Announces Cowsert’s Replacement

A new executive vice president has been announced at BancorpSouth, Inc., with the appointment of James Ronald Hodges to the position. Hodges' ascension to the role follows the company's previously planned retirement of W. Gregg Cowsert after 21 years of service to BancorpSouth.

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