Interesting Personal Debt News Links (February 15, 2009)

February 15, 2009

* Trial set in mortgage fraud case (Peter Boylan, Honolulu Advertiser)

The top two executives of a Honolulu mortgage company accused of orchestrating a foreclosure bailout scheme that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from banks and distressed homeowners pleaded not guilty in federal court yesterday.

* The Distress in the West (Alan J. Heavens, Philadelphia Inquirer)

If you are looking for a word that sums up today’s housing market in Arizona, Nevada and California, Tolleson is it.

* Grim warning from legal frontline (The Irish Independent)

PORTENTOUS warnings about Ireland ‘s swift slide into the gloom don’t often emanate from the High Court. Last week’s prediction that an “avalanche” of house repossessions lay ahead took on added gravitas because the warning was issued by no less than a senior figure in that august body.

* 30-year mortgage rates fall this week

McLEAN, Va. Rates on 30-year mortgages edged down this week, but remained above 5 percent, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

* Rise in bankruptcy filings consistent with economy, experts say (David Flaum, Commercial Appeal)

As the area economy crumbled, joblessness grew and home foreclosures mounted last year, it’s no surprise bankruptcies also rose.

* Some what-ifs from the IRS (Seattle Times)

The Internal Revenue Service is offering taxpayers some guidance on the tax implications of economic hardship because of the deepening recession. Among the “What If” scenarios presented by the agency, and its response:

* Coming to terms | Toxic assets (Seattle Times)

For months, banks have been described as needing to be bailed out because they’re struggling under the weight of “toxic assets.” What makes an asset “toxic,” and why are they causing so much grief?

* Wall Street might search for motivation this week (Tim Paradis)

The stock market doesn’t have much to hang its hat on.With the stream of corporate earnings reports waning and President Barack Obama preparing to sign the $787 billion stimulus package, investors this week will be looking for fresh clues about the economy.Wall Street has been busy focusing on companies’ quarterly numbers and the developments in Washington. Now, investors are face…

* Obama focusing on stimulus, foreclosure crisis (Steven R.. Hurst)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama promotes his economic agenda this week with trips outside Washington to sign the $787 billion stimulus package and to tackle the home mortgage foreclosure crisis.

* Pierce County property taxes don’t reflect slumping economy (News Tribune)

Check out a map and chart of the 2008 and 2009 property tax bills in cities, towns and unincorporated areas of Pierce County, plus the rate of increase or decrease. The amounts are based on average property values in each community. Individual bills will vary.

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