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  • SEC, FBI reportedly investigating Live Well Financial collapse

    Trouble continues to brew for Live Well Financial, the forward and reverse mortgage lender that unexpectedly went bust last month, as court documents reveal that authorities are looking into the lender. According to documents filed by Live Well’s creditors, the SEC, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York, and the FBI’s Bank Fraud Division have all been poking around for information on Live Well’s dealings. Click the headline for the full story.


  • Wells Fargo to refinance all Apollo CRE debt

    Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance [stock ARI][/stock] is refinancing all of its debt borrowed from the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility program through the master repurchase agreement with Wells Fargo [stock WFC][/stock]. The amount of borrowings from TALF totaled $250.3 million with a weighted average cost of funds of 2.8% before the decision to refinance. The commercial mortgage-backed securities also secured the borrowings with a face amount of $298.6 million.
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  • Bigger and better in Texas, again

    The Texas economy is starting the year off well compared to the rest of the nation with positive reports that indicate a brighter outlook for the future. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said job growth and a low cost of living attract businesses to the Lone Star State. Earlier data from the center reported that sales of existing single-family homes in Texas increased of 9% in November from the previous year. The center said 15,000 homes sold statewide at a median home price of $147,600, up 1% from 2010.
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  • Unemployment rate drops in most metro areas in November

    The majority of U.S. metropolitan areas reported lower unemployment rates in November with 351 of the 372 localities seeing a decline from a year earlier. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said unemployment rose in 16 areas and remained the same in five, according to nonseasonally adjusted figures released Wednesday. Data show 58 metropolitan areas saw jobless rates of at least 10%, down from 112 a year earlier. Another 129 areas recorded jobless rates below 7%, which is up from 65 in November 2010.
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  • Aklero Risk Analytics names Alarcon CFO

    Mortgage quality control servicer Aklero Risk Analytics Inc. named John Alarcon chief financial officer. Alarcon will manage all financial operations and human resources for the company. He brings more than 16 years of experience and held senior level positions in management, finance and consulting. Prior to joining Aklero, Alarcon was vice president of finance and corporate treasurer at ISGN. He also worked for SunGard, XRT, and META Group.
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  • Florida home and condo sales up in 2Q

    Existing home and condo sales in Florida are up in the second quarter over year-ago figures in a bit of good news for the housing market, according to the latest statistics from Florida Realtors. A total of 52,421 existing homes sold statewide in 2Q, up 1% from the same time the year before. Existing condo sales increased 14% to 25,263, compared to 22,137 a year ago. There was also an increase in sales for existing homes and condos from the first quarter with a 17.7% rise in existing home sales and a 8.1% rise in existing condo sales over the 1Q 2011 level.
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  • Three found guilty of reverse mortgage fraud scheme

    Three of four people indicted in a major mortgage fraud scheme that cost its victims, mortgage insurer and lenders millions of dollars are facing serious jail time. Two loan officers and a title agent responsible for a $2.5 million reverse mortgage fraud scheme were convicted in federal court on Wednesday of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
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  • DOJ sues MDR Mortgage president for bad FHA mortgages

    The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Robert S. Luce, founder and president of MDR Mortgage, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Luce is accused of leading his team to wrongly originate FHA-insured mortgage that later defaulted, leading the government to face millions of dollars in claims. Luce was indicted in April 2005  on charges ranging from obstruction of justice, making false statements, and practicing mail/wire fraud.
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  • Phoenix home sales up, prices down in June

    Home sales in the Phoenix area increased in June from a year earlier while median sale prices have declined. DataQuick reported that a total of 10,537 new and resale houses and condos rose 8.3% from May and up 1.5% since last year. June’s re-sales of 9,741 proved to be the strongest activity in the area in six years since the record of resold homes were at 15,055 in June 2005. The Phoenix area’s median sale price fell 12% at $122,900 compared to the high of $139,900 last year. Prices rose 2.4% since last month marking the first month-to-month gain since February.
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  • S&P: Shadow inventory slowing down recovery

    Although the drop in default rates shows promise, the amount of shadow inventory still creates a dark loom over the future of housing prices, according to latest results from Standard & Poor's U.S. Residential Performance Index. The shadow inventory of unresolved distressed properties is currently at an estimated $405 billion, representation four years of housing inventory and one-third of the outstanding U.S. non-agency residential mortgage debt.
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  • ASF wants clear definitions between QM and QRM

    The American Securitization Forum submitted a comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that stressed the importance of the proposed rulemaking in establishing “qualified mortgage” standards that are markedly different from what constitutes a "qualified residential mortgage."
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