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How mortgage originators work
Business.iafrica.com - South Africa
Have you ever wondered what role the mortgage originators play in your financial life? They put immense pressure on banks to force them to lower the cost of money to you, but are quite controversial because of the commissions they get paid.

Bruce Whitfield:
Anyone who has run up mortgage debt over the last 10 years would have noticed the phenomenon of friendlier, more generous banks in terms of the amount of the interest rates they're prepared to give, compared to about a decade ago.

The cover story in the latest edition of Finweek caught my eye. Entitled 'Loan Rangers', it is a story of how three entrepreneurs built multi-million rand empires in six years, of mortgage originators and how they impact our lives.

Mortgage fraud surges in housing boom
Orlando Sentinel - USA
Reported losses on mortgage fraud more than doubled to $1.014 billion so far in 2005, making the category one of the fastest growing types of white-collar crime in the United States, according to the FBI. Mortgage fraud has surged as the boom in U.S. housing has encouraged criminals, Derek Siegle, assistant chief of the financial crimes section of the FBI, said at a panel discussion of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Orlando.

The FBI this year has 22,000 reports of suspicious activity related to mortgages, up from about 17,000 in 2004, he said.
Orlando Sentinel

The industry continues to hold its breath
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
The Estate Agency Affairs Board, a body of 12 (it should in fact be 15 members according to the Act) trusted people appointed by the State to police the real estate industry and, in so doing, to protect consumer interests has questionably failed in both its appointed roles.

Gathering dust on the desk of the Minister of Trade and Industry Mandisi Mpahlwa for his action is a forensic report naming individual board members and irregularities by individuals that also includes comments about the board and the performance of its duties.

Allegations of these irregularities apparently relate to the redecorating of the EAAB's offices, false claims for training that was not provided, false expense claims, irregular promotions and "jobs for pals."

De Rebus has a new look website
The publication of the November De Rebus sees the launch of a new look to the popular attorney's journal website.
De Rebus

Only 14% in SA own property
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
The residential property market has showed relatively strong growth in all the provinces and metropolitan regions during 2000 to 2004, but diversities in terms of growth in house prices and the level of and growth in household income, create a different impression of the state of the property market in the various regions.

In Absa's residential property perspective for the fourth quarter, senior economist Jacques du Toit says the potential size of the housing market in South Africa (as indicated by the number and percentage of households in a position to afford a house of 80m²+ in the so-called middle segment of the market) can be regarded as relatively small (about 1.8 million households, or 14.4% of a total number of 12.4 million households in 2004).

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