Saturday September 22, 2018
Underwater Borrowers Get a Lifeline on September 7

Is your home underwater? Do you owe the bank more than it's worth? If so, you may finally be able to get a fixed-rate Federal Housing Administration loan with principal reduction. Available to qualified homeowners on Sept. 7, these new FHA loans require banks to write down at least 10 percent of the unpaid balance of the first mortgage. The program ends Dec. 21, 2012.
With as many as 20 million homeowners going underwater by 2011, there could be a lot of interest in this new program.
"We're throwing a life line out to those families who are current on their mortgage and are experiencing financial hardships because property values in their community have declined," FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said in a statement. "This is another tool to help overcome the negative equity problem facing many responsible homeowners who are looking to refinance into a safer, more secure mortgage product." AOL Real Estate (Link to full article)
BP Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Release of Benzene, Other Chemicals

A $10 billion toxic tort class action lawsuit has been filed against BP over alleged emissions from its troubled Texas City oil refinery, alleging that workers and residents in the area were exposed to benzene and other chemicals.

More than 2,200 workers at the refinery and residents from the surrounding area filed the BP class action lawsuit on August 3 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas. The complaint alleges that for 40 days earlier this year, the company illegally released the chemical benzene into the atmosphere.

The benzene lawsuit comes just as BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, was finally able to stop the flow of oil from a well a mile under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, which has caused a massive oil spill that is expected to cost the company tens of billions of dollars in oil spill lawsuits and clean up costs. (link to full page article)

Fed Divided on Move to Buy U.S. Debt

Federal reserve officials expressed considerable uncertainty before they took a nearly unanimous vote on Aug. 10 to take a modest step to bolster the flagging recovery, according to the central bank’s minutes of the meeting. New York Times (Link to Article)
Toyota Recalls 1.1 Million Cars for Engine Problem

Toyota Motor, the Japanese automaker, said Thursday that it would recall 1.13 million compact cars, days after federal safety regulators upgraded an investigation into numerous complaints about the cars stalling.  The recall, which covers the 2005 through 2008 Corolla sedan and Matrix hatchback, is the 15th this year for Toyota, which has found itself battling widespread questions about the quality and reliability of its vehicles. Toyota has recalled about 11 million vehicles worldwide since November, including about eight million in connection with complaints about sudden acceleration. The New York Times (Link to full article)

Foreclosures Fall, but Rise in Delinquency Causes Concern

The foreclosure crisis finally began to improve in the second quarter, but with the continued weakness in the economy and the recent deterioration of the housing market the gains may prove fleeting, data released Thursday indicated. For the first time since 2006 the number of loans in the process of foreclosure fell, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.  The New York Times (Link to full article)


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