Newsdesk | January 27, 2012

Top News
Mortgage crimes are focus of new task force
CNN Money - A new special task force to investigate and prosecute those responsible for bad mortgages during the housing boom will be part of President Obama's 2012 agenda.
Fed: Rates unchanged, no rate hikes likely till late '14
USA Today - Doing so could help further reduce record-low mortgage rates and help boost home sales. The weak housing market has held back the economy. Brian Bethune, an economics professor at Dartmouth College, expects another round of bond…

Market News
Mortgage Applications Fall by 5 percent in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage Bankers Association - Mortgage applications decreased 5.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 20, 2012.  The results include an adjustment to account for the Martin Luther King holiday.
Dec. new home sales fall, 30-year mortgage rates rise
USA Today – in December, ending one the worst year on record for the real estate industry. And 30-year fixed mortgage rates jump to 3.98% from 3.88% for the week ending Jan. 26, mostly because housing activity has picked up somewhat in the first month of 2012.
Foreclosures Made Up 20% of Third-Quarter Home Sales
CNBC - Sales of new homes, which account for less than 10 percent of the housing market, fell in July and August, but rose in September. Ongoing disputes over how some lenders handled foreclosures have been a key factor in.

Technology News
Google wants ability to 'combine' your user data
CNET News - A forthcoming change to Google's privacy policy means it can use information across multiple services to provide enhanced services and ads. Previously that ability was only implicit.
Ready or not, you're getting Facebook Timeline
CNN - Facebook announced in a blog post Tuesday that Timeline will be coming to all users in the next few weeks. According to a Facebook blog post Tuesday -- or rather, an update to the post published when Timeline became available to all users --...

Other News
How to Help Your Clients Buy a Foreclosure
REALTOR Magazine - Homebuyers may be attracted to the big bargains that foreclosures and pre-foreclosures can offer. But distressed properties can involve tricky, lengthy transactions, and there’s a lot to think about before jumping in, real estate professionals say. Make sure you...
66 Thing You Should Know About Your Customer - we run out of money, but unless we have customers to sell to, we have no purpose. Any Google search can tell you all you need to know about a company you want to sell to—in fact, more than you need to know. But that doesn't mean you...
What Buyers, Sellers Want From Real Estate Agents
REALTOR Magazine - Educate but watch your delivery: Homebuyer Dora M. Abreau said at the conference that when something unexpected comes up in the buying process, she doesn’t like it when agents say