Freddie Mac CEO: We will help increase mortgage lending

Freddie Mac CEO: We will help increase mortgage lending

Competition among two is still competition

MBA forecasts 7% origination jump in 2015

Predicts unemployment at 5.4% by end of next year

Fitch: Two-year run of home price growth is over

“Several markets are still overvalued”

CFPB now employs 700 staffers

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau employs a staff of 700 after conducting a three-month hiring spree, the new regulator's special adviser Raj Date said Tuesday. Date, who serves as special adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, said many of the CFPB's employees were hired away from the consumer protection divisions of other state and federal regulators. Date issued this employment update while testifying before the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. The de facto CFPB leader said the bureau's troop of bank examiners is already on-site at big banks to review the lenders' operations and practices. The agency also is fielding complaints from consumers. "We are working on a summary of our consumer response efforts that will be provided to you. It has been an exceptional beginning," Date told the House subcommittee. Date said once an official CFPB director is named, the bureau will be able to supervise non-bank firms that handle consumer financial products. President Obama's nominee for CFPB director, Richard Cordray, is still trying to get full approval from the Senate. The Senate Banking Committee approved his nomination earlier this month. Date said the agency has received 22,000 public comments on prototype mortgage disclosure forms proposed by CFPB. When finalized, the forms will be rolled into one document that features both the Truth In Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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