The Lede

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Mortgage Applications Rise 2%, But Buyers Seem Unimpressed by Lower Rates
CNBC, Dec. 5, 2018--Diana OlickTotal mortgage application volume rose 2 percent last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index. Volume was nearly 19 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
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OCC Seeks Public Comment on Raising Appraisal Exemption Threshold
HousingWire, Dec. 5, 2018--Kelsey RamirezThe Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently released a proposal that would increase the appraisal requirement from $250,000 to $400,000, meaning that certain home sales of $400,000 and below would no longer require an appraisal. This would be the first increase to the threshold since 1994.
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The Impact of Price Trends on Mortgage Defaults
DS News, Dec. 5, 2018--Radhika OjhaA number of factors drive default rates in mortgage, but a new study by Collateral Analytics has found that price uncertainty and actual and expected home equity are important drivers.
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Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Draws Congressional Support, Even as Trump Bashes Him
Wall Street Journal, Dec. 6, 2018--Nick Timiraos (subscription)President Trump's attacks against Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell have failed so far to gain traction with an important constituency: Congress.
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New Phishing Scam Targets Banks and Mortgage Lenders
National Mortgage Professional, Dec. 5, 2018--Phil HallA global network of digital miscreants has reportedly created a list of 50,000 executives at banks and mortgage companies to target for online scams.
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Risk is Building in the Housing Market
National Mortgage News, Dec. 5, 2018--Lynn M. Fisher, Edward J. Pinto (subscription)American Enterprise Institute economists warn if the economy were to experience a downturn or worse in the next few years, home prices, which have boomed over the last six years, will surely realize a price correction and foreclosure rates could increase "dramatically."
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How Waters Will Keep Pressure on CFPB
American Banker, Dec. 5, 2018--Kate Berry (subscription)There is already intense focus on how the Democratic-run House Financial Services Committee may shine a spotlight on Trump administration-appointed regulators. But that light might shine brightest on one agency in particular: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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