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Fannie’s Losses Narrow to $1.2B, with Taxpayers on the Hook for Less

Fannie Mae's second-quarter losses narrowed considerably from the demoralizing financials of the past several years that found the nation's largest mortgage financier underwater itself in a sea of red ink. The GSE reported Thursday that it lost $1.2 billion last quarter. It was Fannie's smallest loss in more than three years. The company also said it needs far less money from taxpayers this quarter - $1.5 billion. The company acquired 68,838 single-family REOs through foreclosure in Q2, and its seriously delinquent rate dropped to 4.99 percent.

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Dimont & Associates Taps Joe McCloskey for Strategic Growth Initiatives

Dimont & Associates, a national claims management company headquartered, has engaged the services of mortgage industry veteran Joe McCloskey. The company says through this agreement, McCloskey will be assisting Dimont with its overall strategic growth initiatives, including strengthening the company's business practices and expanding its business services lines.

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Mortgage Rates Slide Down Even Further, Hit New Record Lows

Mortgage rates seem to be hitting new record lows on a weekly basis. And this week wasn't any exception, as reports released Thursday by Freddie Mac and Bankrate showed yet another decline in rates for the week ending August 4, 2010. According to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.49 percent, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to a record low of 3.95 percent. Bankrate reported the same trend of ever-declining rates. The tracking company said 30-year fixed-rate mortgages came in at 4.66 percent, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.11 percent.

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GSEs Scale Back Housing Forecasts

The nation's two largest mortgage companies have published forecasts lowering their projections for home sales and mortgage production, industry-wide. The economists at Fannie Mae are tempering public expectations for the housing market with a candid warning: the headwinds in housing have picked up. Freddie Mac's economic team slimmed down its projected numbers, but said the market has gained enough momentum to carry through the occasional setbacks.

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Real Capital Uncovers Evidence of Lenders Stepping up CRE Resolutions

The volume of commercial real estate assets with outstanding distress grew by $6.3 billion in June, but it was the smallest monthly increase since late 2008, according to the research firm Real Capital Analytics. While the slow-down in the growth rate can be attributed in part to the lack of large portfolios to fall into trouble during the month, the analysts at Real Capital say they are also seeing a marked increase in workout activity by lenders.

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Miami Area Home Sales Jumped in June

Sales of Miami and surrounding area homes increased sharply in June, according to MDA DataQuick. During the month, 9,296 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties, up 18.3 percent from May and more than 20 percent higher than a year ago.

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Congress Passes Bill Increasing FHA Premiums

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has received congressional approval to raise borrowers' annual premiums for single-family mortgage insurance. House Resolution 5891 passed the Senate late Wednesday, after clearing the House last Friday. It now heads to the president for final sign-off. The bill allows FHA to increase the statutory cap of the annual fee charged for federal mortgage insurance three-fold, from 0.55 percent to 1.55 percent, but FHA Commissioner David Stevens has indicated that he may not need to raise premiums to the maximum.

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American Capital Taps Freddie Mac Exec as SVP of Mortgage Investments

Christopher Kuehl was recently named SVP of mortgage investments at Bethesda, Maryland-based American Capital Agency Management, LLC, the external manager of American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC), a REIT that invests in agency pass-through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a U.S. government agency. Kuehl joined American Capital from Freddie Mac, where he most recently served as VP, head of agency and nonagency mortgage investments.

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CoreLogic, Houston Association of Realtors Extend Partnership

The analytics firm CoreLogic has renewed and expanded its longstanding data licensing agreement with the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). According to CoreLogic, the agreement extends the permitted use of HAR's listing data beyond automated valuation models (AVMs) to other risk management solutions.

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