Interesting Personal Debt News Links (February 5, 2009)

February 5, 2009

* Participants in area mortgage fraud scheme sentenced (Business Journal Charlotte)

A Columbus real estate speculator and three others were sentenced this week for their roles in mortgage fraud schemes that took more than $2.6 million from investors and banks.

* 4 sentenced in mortgage scam (Columbus Dispatch)

For several years, they worked together to defraud lenders of millions of dollars in a series of property-flipping schemes.

* Interest rates at record low (ITN Online)

Interest rates have fallen to an all-time low after being cut by 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent in a bid to boost the deteriorating UK economy.

* Economic news good enough to propel 30-year rate to 5.25

McLEAN, Va. Rates on 30-year-fixed mortgages climbed this week after recent economic reports were better than expected, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

* Stocks pare losses after manufacturing report (Madlen Read)

Wall Street pared its losses Monday after a better-than-expected reading on manufacturing eased some of the markets anxiety about the economy.

* Democrats defeat GOP plan on mortgage rates

WASHINGTON — A plan by Republicans in the Senate aimed at pushing mortgage rates lower has gone down to defeat at the hands of Democrats.

* Banks react to interest rate cut (BBC News)

Some of the UK’s major lenders have made an immediate decision to pass on the Bank rate cut to customers with a standard variable-rate mortgage (SVR).

* Federal HOPE program has helped few homeowners (Bloomberg News)

The federal HOPE for Homeowners lending program, created last year to assist 400,000 struggling borrowers, has refinanced only 25 loans so far as the costs and restrictions deter participation, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

* Strange times, strange solutions: Just stay put (Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times)

Remember the guy in Florida who breaks into vacant foreclosures and matches them up with a homeless “house sitter”? Well, Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur is eliminating the middleman and urging troubled homeowners to just stay put. From the Toledo Blade on Saturday:

* More Call for Probe on Financial Crisis (Susan Schmidt, Wall Street Journal)

Demand is growing in both parties in Congress for an investigation of the causes of the nation’s financial crisis, with many members calling for an independent commission modeled after the one that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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