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Apps, Rates Edge Down
Five weeks of falling rates failed to lift loan applications.

The 6-month London Interbank Offered Rate continued descending in August.

Mortgage Outlook Gloomy
Countrywide's founder and CEO is predicting a rocky ride in the short term for the mortgage industry and those who invest in mortgage related companies. But he was more optimistic about the long term outlook.

Price Segmenting
By charging borrowers who are not price sensitive a higher interest rate, mortgage lenders can afford to offer customers who are price sensitive lower rates, increase originations and boost profits, according to a new report.

AVMs Come of Age
Automated valuation models are gaining credibility in the residential mortgage-backed securities market. And one ratings agency has some advice about how to manage the risks associated with using values from less than full appraisals.

Nonprime Servicer's Rating Raised
Specialized Loan Servicing received a ratings upgrade.

Credit Report Reissue Fees Litigated
Equifax is using its "market power" to make mortgage bankers and brokers purchase additional credit reports whenever "tri-merged" reports are reissued, according to an Ohio lawsuit filed against the credit repository.

Wholesale Job Growth at CA Company
A California-based net branch company is expanding its wholesale lending operations.

Unlicensed Lender Shut Down
Nevada's Mortgage Lending Commissioner has issued a cease and desist order against a real estate developer who has been offering investments in short-term mortgage loans without a mortgage license.

Indy Loses Foreclosure Race
Indianapolis has led the way as the city with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation this year.

Option ARMs Drive Record Alt-A Deals
Quarterly volume on Alt-A mortgage-backed securities reversed direction to set a record. And option ARM activity, which drove much of the increase, is expected to accelerate.

Internet Transaction Security
Recently issued guidance directs regulated financial institutions as to the level of security required for various types of activities and transactions executed online.

Servicer Rating Raised at ABN AMRO Unit
ABN AMRO Mortgage Group's servicing unit is doing a better job of servicing.

200 Jobs Coming to Indy
Expansion plans by the parent of an Indiana-based mortgage company will help create hundreds of new jobs.

First Horizon Issues Warning
A weak mortgage environment and a class action settlement will hurt First Horizon National's quarterly earnings and production.

Successful Originators Invest Up Front
Starting a job as a mortgage originator requires an upfront investment of time, training and money.

Merger Gossip Has Exec Facing Prison
When a former mortgage executive lied to the Securities and Exchange Commission about divulging an upcoming merger to fellow employees, he started a process that would eventually leave him facing up to five years in prison.

Online Platform Drives Wholesaler's Expansion
A West Coast-based nonprime wholesaler is expanding east -- hoping to add another 6,000 mortgage brokers in the process.

FHA Originators Must Be W-2
FHA loan originators cannot be paid as contractors.

Mortgage Deals Inked
As several mortgage mergers proceed, accounting problems with a defunct mortgage subsidiary may cost a Virginia bank its NASDAQ Global Market listing.

Thrift Originations Higher
Quarterly thrift fundings increased.

Broker Hopes to Replace Florida Figure
A Florida mortgage broker hopes to replace U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris.
read news story
Originator Steals $14 mil from Employer
A Chicago loan originator has been arrested for stealing $14 million from his employer.

$102 Million Option One Charge
Nonprime repurchases and delinquencies will hurt H&R Block Inc.'s bottom line.

Mortgage Layoffs at NetBank
Weakened nonconforming originations led to layoffs at NetBank Inc.

Mortgage Market Holds
Another decrease in mortgage rates helped sustain mortgage demand.

Primary Servicer's Rating Raised
Servicer ratings improved for Central Mortgage Co.

Cease & Desist Order Against Mortgage Co.
A North Carolina firm that promised to provide foreclosure relief to delinquent borrowers has been ordered to cease business.

Freddie Purchases Fall
Freddie Mac's secondary purchases headed back down.

Lots of AZ Mortgage Jobs
Countrywide Home Loans is adding thousands of jobs in the Grand Canyon State.

Mortgage Associations Merge
Two prominent mortgage banking trade groups will merge.

Banned From Mortgage Lending
Michigan has banned several people from mortgage lending in the state because of alleged mortgage fraud activity.

Freddie Settles With Employees
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. has agreed to pay $4.65 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the company misled employees by overstating earnings and mismanaging their retirement funds.

Outsourcer's Servicer Rating Improved
A Wachovia-related servicing business has improved its operations.

How to Be a Top Sales Rep
The most important characteristic in sales is enthusiasm, according to a book reviewed by which was written by a veteran salesman and author who spent time originating residential loans.

Wells Trims Jobs
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is closing a loan operations center and laying off workers in the process.

Countrywide Sued for Overcharges
A $30 fee has landed Countrywide Home Loans in an Illinois state court fighting a case that seeks class action status. But the mortgage giant has asked the judge to throw out the lawsuit.

Major Alliances Announced
A New York lender nailed down a new warehouse line while two mortgage banking giants struck some big alliances.

Free LOS
Loan origination software is being given away by a Washington software developer. Users of the system will also get a discount on automated mortgage leads.

Drugs, Bribes & Thefts
A real estate attorney who operated a Washington escrow company was apparently escrowing more than money, while two lawyers from a prominent California firm have denied charges they bribed a witness who was a mortgage broker.

IndyMac Expansion Ongoing
IndyMac Bancorp Inc. recently expanded its staffing levels by hundreds and expects to continue doing so.

Credit Scores Better for 2nd Lien Borrowers
Second mortgage borrowers had the highest credit scores in a recent study. But they also owed the most in nonmortgage debt.

U.S. Mortgage Jobs Moving Overseas
Real estate lending leads the financial services industry in using offshoring to reduce labor costs. But some mortgage jobs remain exclusively domestic.

AU System Priorities
Mortgage bankers should consider the accuracy, speed of implementation and reputation of automated underwriting systems they are contemplating purchasing, according to competing mortgage technology vendors.

IndyMac Files Fraud Lawsuit
IndyMac Bank has filed a lawsuit alleging it was defrauded on $20 million in Florida mortgages.

Best Big Mortgage Web Sites
Web site functionality helped propel an online lender to the top of a mortgage Web site ranking.

30-Year Improves Again
Refinance activity is heating up

How to Successfully Sell
Focused goals and a drive to continually improve are two of the most important qualities of a successful salesperson, according to the latest sales book reviewed by

High Cost Relief
A $100 million fund is being launched to make loans to develop moderately priced homes in high-end markets.

Merger to Result in Trimmed Jobs
Regions Financial Corp.'s merger with Amsouth Bancorporation will result in mortgage layoffs. But jobs being added at the new headquarters will offset some of the job losses.

10-Year Yield Tumbles
The 10-year Treasury's yield fell to a four-month low following the release of tame inflation data.

Golden West Volume Down
Monthly fundings fell at Golden West Financial Corp.

Foreclosures Up
After falling to the lowest level of the year in June, monthly foreclosure activity picked back up.

BoA, HSBC Tangled Up In Fraud Lawsuit
Three prominent banks must defend themselves against allegations of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with a mortgage-related Ponzi scheme run by a real estate attorney who milked hundreds of millions of dollars from the Orthodox Jewish community.

Virtues of Subprime Lending
In a 16-page letter, mortgage bankers urged the Federal Reserve to continue with the current set of regulations for high-cost loans and to adopt national anti-predatory lending standards. The group indicated nonprime mortgages, which are priced more competitively under current rules, have fueled an increase in homeownership.

Downey Business Continues Descent
Downey Financial Corp. fundings trimmed down for the fourth consecutive month and were less than half the level a year prior.

National City Cited for QC Deficiencies
National City Mortgage may have to buy back more than $1 million in loans and pay nearly $150,000 in fines for not meeting federal underwriting guidelines.

Banks See Worse Subprime Quality
As loan demand weakened at banks, some believe subprime and nontraditional mortgage quality will worsen over the year.

Chase Mortgage Chief Sought
An executive search is on for a new chief at Chase Mortgage.

Philly Fraud Foiled
Ten people, including four from a Philadelphia-area mortgage company, have been indicted in an $11 million mortgage fraud case involving over 180 properties.

Wall Street Comes to Mortgage Leads
Publications like the New York Times and Forbes are making a foray into mortgage lead generation, though not without critics.

HSBC Mortgage Execs Shuffled
The chief of HSBC Mortgage Corp. has been promoted.

Nonprime Shakeups
Investment banker Morgan Stanley is getting into nonprime mortgage banking while another nonprime player is shaking up its staff as well as its "products, pricing and commission plans." And NetBank Inc. took an earnings hit because of a decline in nonconforming production.

Biggest Chase Originator
You may not need a Ph.D. to originate mortgage loans, but it helps.
read news story
Foreclosure Bailout Firm Shut Down
Illinois regulators have slammed the door on a mortgage rescue scam that, with the help of seven title agencies, defrauded Chicago homeowners facing foreclosure.

Highest Closing Costs by State
Attorneys' fees helped drive one state's mortgage closing costs above the rest.

Mortgage Banking Horizon
Fewer, larger financial conglomerates will service mortgage borrowers in a tighter regulatory environment, a mortgage banking group predicted.

Mortgage Market Better
Mortgage demand defied a month-long decline as longer-term mortgage rates headed down again.

Broker Growing and Hiring
An East Coast mortgage broker is expanding in the West.

Impac Originations Edge Up
Fundings slightly surpassed those of the first quarter at Impac Holdings Inc.

Q2 RMBS Volume 2nd Highest Ever
Subprime borrowers are migrating toward longer-term mortgages and away from interest-only loans, according to a new securitization report.

Lead Market Integrating, Innovating
Lead generation companies are stepping up activities and joining forces to grab a bigger piece of a shrinking pie.

HOEPA Trigger Raised
The threshold for high-cost mortgages has been raised.

Nonprime Layoffs at WaMu
Washington Mutual will layoff more employees when it closes a Florida office of its subprime unit.

Accredited Originations Ascend
Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. pumped up its second quarter volume.

Countrywide Business Falls
Monthly fundings fell at Countrywide Financial Corp.

AZ Company Seeks BoA Refugees
An Arizona-based banker is looking to expand mortgage staff across 11 states.

Mortgage Rates, Risks Moderate
Barring a national tragedy, one business journalist sees moderate rate increases this year -- with little risk from pending adjustments to exotic adjustable-rate mortgages.

Home Improvements Financed, Not Completed
An Ohio mortgage broker, whose offices were recently raided by postal inspectors and local police, helped finance home improvements that were not performed.

Countrywide Servicer Status Shines
Countrywide Home Loans' servicer ratings improved.

More MortgageIT Fundings
MortgageIT Holdings Inc. volume rebounded from two consecutive quarters of descending activity.

Net Branch Exec Running for Office
Working in the mortgage industry helped prepare one executive of a Virginia-based net branch company for the intense rigors of a political campaign.

Chase Trimming Mortgage Jobs
Hundreds of jobs will be eliminated when JPMorgan Chase & Co. closes mortgage and home equity collection centers.

M&A Activity Maintains
The latest mortgage mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity include the prospective sale of a New Jersey-based subprime mortgage banker.

Mortgage Jobs Shoot Up
The mortgage industry swerved from three consecutive months of job decreases.

How to Broker Loans
Complete idiots can now become mortgage brokers.

Fundings Higher at GreenPoint
GreenPoint Mortgage increased quarterly production.

Record NovaStar Production
After two consecutive quarters of falling activity, NovaStar Financial Inc. boosted mortgage volume to a new record.

Rates Looking Good
Applications nudged down even as rates fell for the second consecutive week.

Attorneys Gone Wild
Three more real estate attorneys may be headed for prison.

Anti FHA Reform
Not everybody is happy about the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the FHA reform bill.

Wholesaler Expanding
Space made available because of Ameriquest Mortgage layoffs is being used to help a California-based wholesaler add over a hundred new jobs.

Cashout Share Heads Higher
Refinances continued to slide in the second quarter -- pushing cashout activity to the highest level in 16 years.

The 6-month LIBOR fell from a five-year high, but the Monthly Treasury Average continued going up.

Mortgage Exec Headed to Prison
A negative balance of $3.4 million cost an Arizona bank millions of dollars, played a role in the collapse of a mortgage company and sent the company's former top executive to prison.

New Wachovia Mortgage Chief
Wachovia Corp. has tapped the president of a company it is acquiring to head the merged mortgage operations.

MI Production Up
Private mortgage insurers issued more insurance on monthly basis.

Safe ARM
A new program combines the low payment of an adjustable rate mortgage with the safety of a fixed rate and will soon be made available to brokers and correspondents.

Correspondent Evolution
A new breed of correspondent lenders has emerged, with many choosing to broker much of their originations.

National City Servicer Ratings Bumped
National City Mortgage Corp. received higher marks for its servicing yet again.

Business Picks Up at Fannie
Quarterly and monthly secondary market purchases increased at Fannie Mae.

COFI Pushes Past 4%
Western banking institutions continue to pay more for their money.

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