Interesting Personal Debt News Links (March 18, 2009)

March 18, 2009

* Mortgage rates down, activity up (Pittsburgh Business Times)

Its a good time to get a mortgage. Rates continue to drop, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sliding to 4.89 percent and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage to 4.52 percent, according to a weekly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association .

* Unemployment rates typically (Independent-Review)

So the new unemployment numbers are in. Not looking to good, no matter how rose colored your glasses are.

* It’s the oversight, not size, on too-big-to-fail (Jim Landers, Dallas Morning News)

American International Group has swallowed $170 billion of taxpayer money since October while still sprinkling bonuses on the very people who drove it to the brink of failure a failure that might have brought down the whole financial house of cards.

* On the banking crisis Lord Turner has left big questions open (Telegraph)

Lord Turner’s review of the banking crisis was published on the same day that Britain recorded its highest monthly increase in unemployment since 1971 and the highest total number of unemployed, 2.03 million, since June 1997. Sadly, the newly jobless are not all greedy bankers. There is innocent suffering, much of it made worse by banks that in the “good” times offered credulous clients improba…

* Central Valley bankruptcy filings up 79% in 2008 (Darrell Smith, Sacramento Bee)

Bankruptcy filings in Sacramento and the Central Valley continue to soar as weary residents seek relief from the grip of foreclosures and wage cuts, crippling health care costs and rising unemployment.

* False solutions for some real problems (Creators Syndicate)

WASHINGTON — Someone once said that Sen. Hubert Humphrey, liberal icon of an earlier generation, had more solutions than there were problems.

* Mortgage fraud up 26% in 2008, data show (Alan J. Heavens, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Incidents of mortgage fraud rose 26 percent nationally in 2008 over 2007 even as the number of home-loan originations dropped, the Mortgage Asset Research Institute reported yesterday.

* Maryland: Fifth for mortgage fraud (Jamie Smith-Hopkins, Baltimore Sun)

Maryland ranked fifth in the country for reported mortgage fraud last year, the Mortgage Asset Research Institute said this afternoon. The report — made to the Mortgage Bankers Association — said fraud is worst in Rhode Island, followed by Florida, Illinois and Georgia.

* Thomas Sowell: Government solutions are the trouble (Columbus Dispatch)

Someone once said that Democratic Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, Minnesota’s liberal icon of an earlier generation, had more solutions than there were problems.

* Home repossessions up two thirds in a year says Financial Services Authority (Telegraph)

A total of 46,750 properties were repossessed by lenders during the year, up from 27,900 in 2007, the City watchdog said.

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