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Editorial Results (free)

1. Market Mystery -

Over the last several years, investors ranging from mom-and-pop shops to large hedge funds have been acquiring single-family homes in Memphis at a historic pace.

But determining the long-term impact that investor purchases have made on neighborhoods remains elusive.

2. Triumph Bank Meeting To Highlight Banner Year -

Triumph Bank is holding its annual meeting next month in a locale that’s different from the traditional conference room setting where banks tend to make their yearly presentation to shareholders.

3. JPMorgan to Cut 8,000 Jobs This Year -

JPMorgan Chase plans to eliminate a total of 8,000 jobs this year as its mortgage business shrinks and as the giant bank aims to control costs at its branches.

About half of those job cuts had already been announced. JPMorgan Chase now plans to cut more jobs as it tries to reduce $2 billion in consumer banking expenses by the end of 2016.

4. Starting Over: When Corporate Goes Kaput -

For many employees in the Memphis area, the story is all too familiar. You wake up one day and go to work, just like it was any other. You wear the same clothes, drive the same route, and eat at the same place for lunch. Things seem fine at first, but something starts to feel a little out of whack.

5. You Can Save Too Much for Retirement -

Ray’s Take Around half of all workers older than 55 have less than $50,000 saved for retirement. We hear this message over and over along with warnings that many Americans may never be able to afford to quit working. Some respond by effectively giving up hope. Others keep saving, but live in constant anxiety that it probably won’t be enough. They may be fine and not even know it!

6. Business Leaders Optimistic About Local Economy -

As they have for a few quarters now, Memphis-area business leaders continue to acknowledge an incremental sense of optimism about specific aspects of their companies and the economy, according to the results of the third Memphis Economic Indicator.

7. ‘Tax Dead’ Program Clears First Hurdle -

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy scrambled Monday, Jan. 13, to overcome some of the nagging questions about an anti-blight initiative aimed at “tax dead” properties and overcame most of them for now.

8. Mortgage Market Grows 3 Percent in 2013 -

The mortgage market in Shelby County ended 2013 with a modest improvement over 2012, with signs pointing to more advances in 2014.

Banks and mortgage lenders made 8,298 purchase mortgages in Shelby County during 2013, a 3 percent improvement from the 8,027 mortgages during 2012, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

9. Paragon Sets Record Profit in Third Quarter -

The good news keeps coming for Paragon National Bank.

Between July and September, the Memphis-based community bank completed the most profitable quarter in its nearly eight-year history. It also was the bank’s 11th straight quarter of profitability, and Paragon attributed the result to things such as improved asset quality, balance sheet growth, expense reduction and better net interest margin.

10. Social Media Fails of 2013 -

Social media is a terrific opportunity to engage with the marketplace and build brand loyalty. Unfortunately, along with the reward comes risk. When a social media campaign backfires, your failure can be quite public.

11. Mortgage Market Up 10 Percent in November -

Borrowers are still rushing to lock in low rates, take advantage of a seemingly improving economy and get those keys to a new home in their hands.

That’s what the latest monthly mortgage numbers would suggest, as do the mortgage industry professionals who say borrowers kept the phones ringing at pretty much a steady clip in November compared to the previous month and helped November see a 10 percent uptick in the county’s mortgage volume.

12. First Horizon Stresses Patience to Investors -

The business of banking isn’t exactly a picnic at the moment for a company like First Horizon National Corp., which has made big strides toward lowering its risk profile but continues to see lower near-term profitability than it would like.

13. Mortgage Market Up 12 Percent in October -

As the year is drawing to a close and the weather is cooling down, the local mortgage market keeps heating up. Continuing a trend that’s held somewhat steady, the market for mortgages in Shelby County continues to improve over the past year.

14. Evolve Bank & Trust Honored for Creating Jobs -

Memphis-based Evolve Bank & Trust generated 203 jobs from Jan. 1, 2012, through June 30 of this year, a feat that was honored in Inc. Magazine’s second annual Hire Power Awards.

15. FedEx Cares Week Builds Community Support -

FedEx Corp. wraps up its ninth annual FedEx cares Week on Friday, as more than 900 local FedEx employees have volunteered in the community for a variety of organizations.

16. Shelby County Mortgage Market Jumps 23 Percent -

Bank of Bartlett’s mortgage company saw an uptick in mortgage volume in August compared to the same month in 2012, and the bank’s vice president said he expects demand from borrowers to persist and home prices to keep trending higher.

17. Triumph Bank Completes Purchase of M&P Bank Divisions -

Memphis-based Triumph Bank has finalized the purchase of Merchant & Planters Bank divisions M&P Bank Home Loans and Community Bankers Mortgage Group.

18. Triumph Bank Completes Purchase of M&P Bank Divisions -

Memphis-based Triumph Bank has finalized the purchase of Merchant & Planters Bank divisions M&P Bank Home Loans and Community Bankers Mortgage Group.

19. United Housing Places 3,000th Homeowner -

Lisa Brice was living in a Memphis-area townhouse with her two teenage daughters when the water was turned off in the community back in January.

20. Mortgage Market Rises 22 Percent in July -

The month of July may help buoy expectations among optimistic participants in the mortgage industry that a housing recovery is taking hold in Shelby County.

Mortgage volume for the month was up almost 22 percent in July, climbing to almost $173 million last month from $142.2 million in July 2012, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

21. Metropolitan Bank Hires Two in Memphis -

Metropolitan Bank has brought on two additions in Memphis.

David Hertlein has joined the bank as a mortgage specialist, and Stephanie Maness is the newest client services adviser. Both are working in Metropolitan’s Poplar Avenue office.

22. Triumph Bank Acquires Merchants & Planters Mortgage Unit -

Memphis-based Triumph Bank has reached a deal to acquire the mortgage division of Merchants & Planters Bank.

23. Triumph Bank Acquires Merchants & Planters' Mortgage Division -

Memphis-based Triumph Bank has reached a deal to acquire the mortgage division of Merchants & Planters Bank.

24. Closing Fannie, Freddie Could Boost Mortgage Rates -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Homebuyers could feel the pinch if Congress follows through on plans to shut down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage guarantee giants that were rescued by a $187 billion taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis.

25. Commissioner Harvey Home to Stay -

As the Shelby County Commission began debating whether or not property tax rates caused homeowners and small-business owners to move out of the county, one commissioner was preparing to move to Dallas.

26. June Mortgages Up 8 Percent -

June was a healthy month for the mortgage market in Shelby County. Last month saw 810 purchase mortgages made, an 8 percent improvement from 750 mortgages in June 2012, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

27. Fed Approves Higher Bank Capital Standards -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve approved higher requirements for the amount of capital reserves banks must hold to cushion against unexpected losses. The change is aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

28. Kroger-Anchored Center Sells for $14.6 Million -

4270 Summer Ave. Memphis, TN 38122

Sale Amount: $14.6 million

Sale Date: June 18, 2013

29. Senators Propose Overhaul of Housing Finance -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed an overhaul to the housing finance system that would gradually eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored mortgage guarantee giants, and shift more mortgage and credit risk to the private sector.

30. Five Years in the Life -

Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines has just merged with more than 150 flights a day at Memphis International Airport shifting to the Delta brand. And Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, said Memphis would be an integral hub with more traffic.

31. Mortgage Activity Sees Small Increase -

Mortgage activity was a bit lackluster in Shelby County last month compared to the same time in 2012, judging by the latest data.

Looking forward, though, bankers say the demand is there, the busy season for lenders is well underway and that the purchase mortgage business is at times far outpacing demand for refinances.

32. Baker Donelson Litigator Tom Comes Full Circle -

Robert Tom, commercial and business litigation attorney for Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, has been elected shareholder of the law firm.

The 35-year-old Tom grew up in Memphis and attended Memphis University School before going to Emory University in Atlanta to study business and finance. Becoming an attorney was never even on his radar screen.

33. Profitable Year Has Paragon Upbeat -

Executives with Paragon National Bank laid out for shareholders this week a set of strategic objectives for 2013 that included making continued progress toward wringing problem assets out of the bank and improving the bank’s earnings power.

34. Oakhaven Warehouse Sells After Foreclosure -

4120 Air Trans Road, Memphis, TN 38118

Sale Amount: $2.5 million

Sale Date: May 7, 2013

35. Commission Votes Down Grant Funding -

The Shelby County Commission voted down Monday, May 6, a $368,372 federal-through-state grant to the county Community Services division.

The grant from the Tennessee Department of Human Services was specifically for emergency assistance with rent and mortgage payments as well as uniform and food vouchers, gas cards and bus passes for those at or below the poverty level locally.

36. Mortgages Near $107 Million in April -

From where he sits, Renaissance Realty’s Jeff Jenkins is optimistic that 2013 will be a fruitful one for the local real estate industry.

37. Commission Votes Down Grant Funding -

The Shelby County Commission voted down Monday, May 6, a $368,372 federal-through-state grant to the county Community Services division.

The grant from the Tennessee Department of Human Services was specifically for emergency assistance with rent and mortgage payments as well as uniform and food vouchers, gas cards and bus passes for those at or below the poverty level locally.

38. Commission Votes Down Second Amendment Gun Resolution -

Shelby County Commissioners voted down a resolution Monday, May 6, that would have backed the idea of state legislators and county sheriffs across the state “nullifying” federal gun control laws they consider unconstitutional.

39. Magna Intent on Raising Profile, Enhancing Services -

This year is turning out to be a big one for Magna Bank as it rolls out new products and services, adds key personnel and boosts its profile across the Mid-South.

40. Capital Requirement -

In early April, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., joined a handful of other senators in drafting a letter in part about new rules of the road governing bank capital requirements.

That letter was sent to Federal Reserve Gov. Daniel Tarullo, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Martin Gruenberg.

41. March Mortgages Drop 8 Percent -

From March 2012 to March 2013, the number of mortgages made in Shelby County dropped 8 percent – from 649 to 597.

March 2013 mortgage volume totaled a little more than $100 million, though, up from a little more than $97 million in March 2012.

42. Shelby County Mortgage Market Up 2 Percent -

Someone let out a cheer earlier this month at the Memphis Area Association of Realtors 2013 Residential Real Estate Summit as MAAR President Regina Hubbard gave her optimistic forecast for the local housing market.

43. Council OKs Registry for Blighted Properties -

For months, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and the Memphis City Council had delayed final votes on his proposal to require the registration of property to make it easier for the city to find the owners of blighted property.

44. Housing Huddle -

Memphis Area Association of Realtors president Regina Hubbard got an unabashed response from the crowd at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre during the real estate group’s 2013 Residential Real Estate Summit.

45. Panther Properties Buys Two Cordova Apartments -

2350 N. Houston Levee Road and 2323 N. Houston Levee Road

46. Bank of Bartlett Continues Turnaround -

The Federal Reserve Board has terminated a so-called “prompt corrective action” order for Bank of Bartlett that was released last year and which at the time asserted the bank was undercapitalized.

Bank of Bartlett president Harold Byrd said at the time the family-run bank was already on the mend and that the Fed’s order was based on outdated information. Without explanation, the Fed announced within the past week its order regarding Bank of Bartlett, dated Jan. 30 has been terminated.

47. Boyle Celebrates 80 Years, Sponsors Art Exhibit -

Boyle Investment Co. turns 80 this year, and has partnered with the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art to celebrate.

48. Mortgage Activity Slows in February -

Mortgage activity in Shelby County began 2013 by shifting into a higher gear, but someone tapped the brakes in February.

Total mortgage volume countywide had started the year showing double-digit percentage growth over the same period one year earlier. But in February, volume was up just 1 percent over the same month in 2012.

49. Mortgage Bankers Honor Financial Federal Executives -

Financial Federal vice presidents and loan officers John Loebel and Judson Williford, of the bank’s residential lending division, recently were honored by the Memphis Mortgage Bankers Association.

50. Mortgages Jump 38 Percent in January -

Mortgage banking isn’t looking as dreary right now as it has in recent years. In Shelby County, mortgage activity began the year bouncing strongly off totals from the first month of 2012.

51. Blazing a Trail -

Susan Stephenson is one of the most accomplished and highly visible women in the Memphis business community. She is the co-founder of Independent Bank, the city’s second-largest bank as ranked by assets and one that largely steered clear of the mortgage mess that dogged competitors during the financial bust.

52. Mayor, Banks Revive Program Targeting City’s Unbanked -

It started with a letter. More than two dozen of them, actually. Bankers from around Memphis got a missive from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. in 2010 that solicited help from bankers like Joe DiNicolantonio, West Tennessee area president for Regions Bank.

53. Filling the Voids -

Last year was a banner year for adaptive reuse projects in Midtown and Downtown.

Developers announced plans for the Sears Crosstown building, Overton Square, Hotel Chisca, James Lee House and old United Warehouse in the South Main Historic Arts District. Construction began on The Pyramid, turning it into a 220,000-square-foot mega-Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World, and Memphis in May moved into its new headquarters at 56 S. Front St., a 14,600-square-foot building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

54. $6.5 Million Financing Provided for Orleans Apartments -

The commercial/multifamily division of Memphis-based community bank Financial Federal has arranged $6.5 million construction financing through U.S. Bank NA on the second phase of luxury The Orleans at Walnut Grove apartments.

55. $6.5 Million Financing Provided for Orleans at Walnut Grove -

The commercial/multifamily division of Memphis-based community bank Financial Federal has arranged $6.5 million construction financing through U.S. Bank NA on the second phase of luxury The Orleans at Walnut Grove apartments.

56. December Mortgages Up 34 Percent -

Much like the fourth quarter, December was also an especially strong period for local mortgage activity.

From December 2011 to December 2012, total mortgage volume climbed 34 percent. December 2012 mortgages totaled a little more than $94 million, up from the nearly $70 million in December 2011.

57. Fourth-Quarter Mortgages Rise 21 Percent -

The fourth quarter of 2012 in Shelby County essentially followed the same upward swing in mortgage activity as was seen throughout the year as a whole.

There were 1,925 mortgages during the fourth quarter of 2012, up 21 percent from the 1,592 during the same period the previous year.

58. Mortgage Gains Point to Solid 2013 -

Shelby County’s mortgage market made decent strides during the past 12 months, posting gains over 2011 and foreshadowing a healthy 2013.

Banks and mortgage lenders made 8,028 purchase mortgages in Shelby County during 2012, a 17 percent improvement from the 6,862 mortgages during 2011, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

59. County’s Mortgage Market Up 7 Percent -

If they had any worries about next year’s taxes, the fiscal cliff and economic uncertainty, the local mortgage market saw borrowers brush them aside during November.

Continuing a pattern that’s been more the rule than the exception this year, Shelby County’s mortgage market keeps growing at a steady clip, and continued doing so through last month. Total mortgage volume countywide in November was up 7 percent over November 2011, climbing to almost $93 million in November 2012 from about $87 million during the same period last year, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

60. Midtown Momentum -

The Midtown real estate market has long been an anomaly compared to its Bluff City counterparts, with fundamentals as diverse as its demographics.

“The types of real estate that you’ll find in Midtown can be some of the most expensive or some of the most modest when it comes to prices and facility,” said Gary Myers of Gary Myers Co. “Retail in particular.”

61. BancorpSouth Keeps Focus on Staying True to Banking Basics -

BancorpSouth Inc. may have new leadership, but the Tupelo, Miss.-based company likes to say it still has an old way of doing business.

62. I-Bank Grows in Namesake East Memphis Office Tower -

Independent Bank has expanded its headquarters at I-Bank Tower to primarily accommodate its Mortgage Lending Division.

63. Delek Buys Lion Oil Facility for $6.4 Million -

1023 Riverside Drive Memphis, TN 38106

Sale Amount: $6.4 million

Sale Date: Nov. 7, 2012

64. Shelby County Mortgages Up in October -

The Federal Reserve has signaled its intent to buy mortgage-backed securities for much of the near future to try and goose the economy, which means mortgage rates are liable to keep skating along the bottom, as they are now.

65. Landmark Community Bank Reports Third-Quarter Profit -

Collierville-based Landmark Community Bank has reported a profit of $648,000 during the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to a $2.2 million profit during the same period in 2011.

66. Treating Customers Well Top Priority for First South Financial -

Nice guys may finish last, but nice financial institutions grow steadily over time. First South Financial Credit Union stays competitive by reacting quickly and treating members well.

“I think for us there’s plenty of room for us to grow,” said Delynn Byars, senior vice president of marketing for First South. “When you look at surveys by the American Bankers Association, by Gallup, by other organizations, unfortunately there are a lot of financial institutions, but not a lot of them are doing a very good job taking care of their customers.”

67. Optimism Finds Way Into Local Banks, Financial Institutions -

Here’s a look at what’s going on in the world of finance, and the ways it’s all affecting Memphis.

First up, to quote the Bard, “But soft: what light through yonder window breaks?”

68. Rise of House Flipping Focus Of Seminar -

The impact of the foreclosure crisis on Shelby County home values is intricate and far-reaching.

Recent estimates by real estate information company Chandler Reports suggest that nearly a quarter of Memphis’ total housing stock are non-owner occupied.

69. Foreclosures Continue Rise in Third Quarter -

At a public gathering at Calvary Episcopal Church last week, the city’s Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb lamented the pervasiveness of poverty in Memphis.

70. Mortgage Market Sees Gains in Third Quarter -

With the Federal Reserve taking steps to keep financing costs at extreme lows across the economy, it’s probably not surprising to hear an economist say he’s getting an earful from community banks and credit unions around the country.

71. Momentum Builds as Money to Fight Northaven Blight Arrives -

When Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell announced in Northaven a week ago a $600,000 effort to fight blight in three parts of unincorporated Shelby, he got a lot of questions about the exact terms for home improvements – half of the funding.

72. Local Mortgage Market Up 25 Percent -

Chris Low, chief economist for First Horizon National Corp.’s capital markets division FTN Financial, has been on the road in recent days.

73. Blight Program Announced for Unincorporated Areas -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell announced a $600,000 effort in Northaven, Waverly Farms and Southeast Shelby County to fight blight and help homeowners fix up their properties. The funding for the two-part effort in the unincorporated areas of Shelby County is part of $7.5 million Shelby County government and the city of Memphis government are to receive from Wells Fargo Bank.

74. Return on Investment -

Most people already know some of the basic elements of the banking business. From the large national lenders with a Memphis presence to the community banks in the suburbs, one common element is they make money by charging borrowers more than the bank pays in interest to depositors.

75. Herenton Home Moves in Short Sale -

The home of former Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton in Banneker Estates’ gated community has traded hands for $350,000 in a short sale.

The single-family home at 5281 Horn Lake Road in the McKellar-Whitehaven-Levi PD neighborhood was sold to Tamara G. Washington on Aug. 27, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds. Washington also filed a $150,000 mortgage with Community Mortgage Corp. that matures in September 2032.

76. BankTennessee Opens New Atoka Loan Center -

In an effort to fill a key spot along the U.S. 51 corridor and bridge the gap between its Memphis market and an office in Lauderdale County, Collierville-based BankTennessee has expanded its footprint.

77. Magna Bank Hits Five-Year Mark -

This month, Magna Bank is marking its fifth year in existence as a full-service community bank, one born in 2007 amid the calm just before the calamitous storm of 2008 that brought sweeping changes to banking and finance.

78. United Housing Reaches 2,500th Homeowner -

United Housing Inc., a nonprofit housing agency, recently assisted its 2,500th homeowner when Joyce Taylor closed on her first home in the Scenic Hills area of Raleigh.

79. Landmark Community Bank Reports Earnings Increase -

Collierville-based Landmark Community Bank has reported earnings from operations of $594,000 during the three months ended June 30, compared to earnings of $554,000 during the same period in 2011.

80. Q2 Mortgages up 14 Percent -

Shelby County’s mortgage market is continuing to turn a corner, with more buyers during the second quarter signing on the dotted line and bankers handing over a shiny new set of keys.

During the second three months of 2012, banks and mortgage lenders in Shelby County made 2,149 purchase mortgages, up 14 percent from the 1,878 mortgages during Q2 2011, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

81. Economic Dev. Conference Slated for Saturday -

The Home for the Holidays Summer Conference 2012 is slated for Saturday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Union Avenue Campus of Southwest Tennessee Community College in the Verties Sails Gymnasium (Building E).

82. Herenton Home Listed as Short Sale -

Former Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton’s home in Banneker Estates is on the market as a short sale.

The single-family home on Horn Lake Road has been on the market for more than 160 days. The house in the McKellar-Whitehaven-Levi PD neighborhood is listed for $369,900 with B.J. Worthy with RE/MAX on Track.

83. As US Economy Steadies, Bank Closings Become Rarer -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer U.S. banks are failing than at any time since the financial crisis erupted in 2008. The healthier banking industry is helping sustain an economy slowed by lackluster hiring, weak manufacturing and Europe's debt crisis.

84. County’s Mortgage Lending Up in May -

When bank customers are seen doing something seemingly as simple as making plans for the future – plans, of course, that involve spending money – that conveys a lot to someone like Mike Edwards, Paragon Bank’s president and chief operating officer.

85. Dodd-Frank Could Have ‘Dire Impact’ On Economy -

As banks nationwide are feeling the pressure of regulatory change like the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commercial real estate lending standards by community banks will likely remain stringent for the foreseeable future.

86. Executive Coach Burtch Earns Int’l Designation -

Bill Burtch, founder and president of full-service management consultancy firm Harmony Coaching & Consulting, has received the Professional Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation, becoming the second PCC in Memphis. Burtch, who also holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources designation, focuses his consulting work in executive/team coaching, professional development training and human resources consulting.

87. Settlement Brings Milestone in Wells Fargo Case -

The announcement that Wells Fargo & Co. has agreed to settle a three-year-old lawsuit filed by Memphis and Shelby County governments over the company’s lending practices – with the settlement including certain local lending commitments on Wells’ part – was certainly a denouement in the case.

88. Mortgages Up 10 Pct. in April -

T.S. Eliot described April as “the cruelest month” in his classic poem “The Waste Land” – but for Shelby County’s mortgage market, April turned out to be a bit more positive than that.

89. MIFA Unites Volunteers In Service -

Last week we reflected on Herschel Walker’s recent visit to Memphis, sharing examples of how giving back has opened doors and led to opportunities that have yielded great success in his business and personal life. This week let us spotlight an organization engaging our community to sustain the independence of seniors, transform the lives of families in crisis, and equip teens for success: Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA).

90. White Joins BankTennessee As Mortgage Specialist -

Judy Sulton White has joined BankTennessee as a mortgage loan specialist. White has worked in the mortgage industry for 30 years and will focus on new-home financing options, mortgage refinances and custom construction loans.

91. Chandler Event To Highlight Q1 Housing -

Shelby County home sales increased 20 percent from January to March compared to last year, but that number requires some reading between the lines.

That’s why real estate information company Chandler Reports is hosting its “Master Your Market: First Quarter Update” event for local agents, appraisers, builders, investors and bankers Thursday, May 3.

92. Homes Part of North Memphis Revitalization -

Usually Self + Tucker Architects do the design work and planning for someone else who is the developer.

But in an open lot on the north side of Chelsea Avenue at Leath Street, seven single- family homes to come in the next year will be the architecture firm’s first steps into developing.

93. Q1 Mortgages Up 12 Percent -

As the new year got under way, it didn’t look like Shelby County’s mortgage market was going to be ringing in 2012 with a bang.

By the end of January, the market was in pretty much the same place as it was one year earlier, with total mortgage volume barely budging (to $67 million, barely up from January 2011’s mortgage volume of $65.3 million).

94. Kobernus Takes Reins of MAAR Commercial Council -

When Aubrie Kobernus goes home at night, she has a new hat to hang by her door. The 33-year-old was recently promoted to director of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors’ Commercial Council.

95. Crye-Leike Sells Properties, Land At Feb. Auction -

Multiple properties in the Memphis area have traded hands as a result of an auction held by Crye-Leike Auction Services in February.

Kays Nawaf Employee Pension Plan sold three flex warehouse buildings at 4652 Damascus Road, 4660 Damascus Road and 4668 Damascus Road, ranging from 7,450 square feet to 10,160 square feet. There was a published minimum bid of $83,000 each.

96. Mortgage Free is Not Home Free -

Ray’s Take Every homeowner looks forward to the day the mortgage is paid and the family home is owned, free and clear. Mortgage-burning parties are a right of passage. However, that’s not the end of home-related expenses. It is important to do the math before you absorb the amount of that monthly note back into your lifestyle.

97. Congress Sends Startup Investment Bill to Obama -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Despite warnings that less government oversight might mean more investment scams, Congress on Tuesday sent President Barack Obama legislation he endorsed making it easier for startups to raise capital without running afoul of federal regulations.

98. BofA to Offer Rentals as Foreclosure Alternative -

NEW YORK (AP) – Bank of America says it has begun a pilot program offering some of its mortgage customers who are facing foreclosure a chance to stay in their homes by becoming renters instead of owners.

99. Wunderlich Securities Inc. Expands Private Client Group in Houston -

Memphis-based Wunderlich Securities Inc. has expanded its private client group in Houston.

A financial group comprised of three people in Houston with $65 million in assets under administration has joined the firm.

100. 6 Months Later, What has Occupy Protest Achieved? -

NEW YORK (AP) – As spring approaches, Occupy Wall Street protesters who mostly hibernated all winter are beginning to stir with plans for renewed demonstrations six months after the movement was born.