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Texas Economic Growth Steady

The Texas economy grew during the first half of 2014. From January 1 through the end of June, Texas employment has grown 3.3 percent, which is better than the national average.

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San Jose Real Estate Market Plateaus

The housing market in San Jose, California, has been cooling over time and prices have recently flattened. The trends imply a weakening market, according to Kristen Evans, an analyst for Altos Research LLC. “Despite the consistent decrease in the Market Action Index (MAI), we're in a ‘Seller's Market’ where significant demand leaves little inventory available.”

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Senior RMBS Trader Convicted of Fraud

Foreclosure, REO, News, Webcast

The office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program announced that Jesse Litvak, a registered broker-dealer and former managing director at New York investment bank Jefferies & Co., Inc. was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $1.75 million dollar fine in connection to his conviction for defrauding consumers trading in residential mortgage backed securities.

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Homes “Seriously Underwater” Down in Second Quarter

Foreclosure, REO, News, Webcast

In a positive sign for the housing market, RealtyTrac reported Thursday a decrease nationwide in homes that were classified as “seriously underwater”, down to 9.1 million homes in the second quarter of 2014, representing 17.2 percent of all homes nationwide. The number is a decrease from the 17.4 percent of underwater homes recorded in the first quarter

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Rhode Island Affirms MERS Right to Assign

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island continued the recent trend nationwide of affirming the legitimacy of Mortgage Electronic Information Systems’ (MERS) role as mortgagee, including its authority to assign a mortgage.

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Watt Blames Homeowner Skepticism for HARP Slowdown

In a town hall style meeting in Chicago Tuesday, Mel Watt, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, blamed fear of being taken in by a scam for eligible homeowner’s reluctance to take advantage of the Home Affordable Refinance program.

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HUD Awards Nearly $120 Million to Four Communities

Four American communities are getting a facelift. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced Monday that the department was awarding four cities a combined $119.7 million to redevelop and bring revitalization to blighted areas. The award is the latest extension of the department’s "Choice Neighborhoods Initiative," which attempts to take a comprehensive approach to struggling neighborhood revitalization.

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New York AG Announces State Loan Program to Prevent Foreclosures

The government of New York is taking further steps to try to stem the tide of foreclosures that still lingers in the Empire State today. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the launch of the New York State Mortgage Assistance Program, or NYS MAP, which will provide targeted small loans to families with the aim of helping them avoid foreclosure.

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HUD Settles Discrimination Complaint

HUD announced the latest development in its effort to crack down on discriminatory housing practices Thursday. The department reached a settlement agreement in cooperation with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center (CFHC) with respondents Lil-1 Associates, AllPoints Realty and realtor Lillian Polak stemming from allegations that they published discriminatory listings and advertisements for condominiums stating that children were not permitted in the units, in violation of federal law.

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