The Lede

Top National News

How a Low Credit Score Can Waylay a Jumbo Mortgage
Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2016--Martin, Anya Having lots of money and assets might seem to automatically qualify someone for a jumbo mortgage, but some affluent borrowers still face credit-score challenges.
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Mortgage REITs: Juicy Dividends and Ace Charts
Barrons, May 12, 2016--Kahn, Michael  Unlike the rest of the stock market, mortgage REITs did not recover from the financial crisis bear market. But the sector has rallied nicely since January and this week exceeded the March 2009 low.
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Foreclosure Starts Fall to Lowest Level Since 2000: MBA
National Mortgage News, May 12, 2016--Passy, Jacob Foreclosures continued to decrease in the first quarter, while delinquencies remained flat from the previous quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
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Affordable Mortgage Rates? Loan Originations Fall to Two-Year Low
HousingWire, May 12, 2016--Lane, Ben Despite that mortgage interest rates routinely hovered around "historic" lows for much of the first quarter, loan originations fell to their lowest level in two years, according to RealtyTrac.
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Economists Disagree With Voters Who See U.S. Worse Off Today Than in 1960s
Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2016--Zumbrun, Josh When was America at its best? Put the question to voters and many will point as far back as the 1960s. Put the question to economists and they identify a much more recent peak in U.S. living standards.
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Buyers Build Upscale Homes in the Backwoods
Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2016--Gamerman, Amy Many dream of owning unspoiled land where they can craft their own retreat, but building a luxury home in a remote location comes with plenty of challenges,
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Redwood Trust Expands Credit Box for Prime Jumbos
National Mortgage News, May 12, 2016--Collins, Brian Redwood Trust is broadening what kinds of prime jumbo mortgages it will accept and its appetite for non-qualified mortgages.
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U.S. Jobless Claims Hit 14-Month High; Analysts Blame Verizon Strike
Reuters, May 12, 2016--Mutikani, Lucia The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose last week to a more than one-year high, but economists blamed striking telecommunications workers for the surge and said the data did not signal a deterioration in the overall labor market.
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U.S. Lawmakers Urge Yellen to Diversify the Fed
Reuters, May 12, 2016--Saphir, Ann U.S. lawmakers including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Thursday sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen urging more diversity at the U.S. central bank. Ten of the Fed's 12 regional bank presidents are men; 11 of them are white, the letter noted.
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U.S. Import Prices Rise 0.3% for Second Straight Month
MarketWatch, May 12, 2016--Bartash, Jeffrey The cost the U.S. paid for imported goods rose 0.3% in April, largely because of higher oil prices.
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New Real Estate Component in S&P Index Could Leave Financial Stocks Adrift
Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2016--Josephs, Leslie Real-estate stocks are getting their own home in the S&P 500 later this year, a move that could spell trouble in their old neighborhood.
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Bets on Fannie and Freddie Get Help From Lobbyists
Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2016--Light, Joe Hedge funds that have bet hundreds of millions of dollars on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's stock aren't just leaving the fate of their investment to Wall Street. A group of hedge funds, including Paulson & Co. and Perry Capital LLC, is helping to finance a lobbying campaign to lift government controls on what happens with the mortgage giants' profits.
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Housing Demand Remains Strong: MBA CEO
CNBC, May 13, 2016 Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David Stevens previewed spring's home-buying season and weighed in on the health of the mortgage market.
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