Interesting Personal Debt News Links (March 28, 2009)

March 28, 2009

* Worry Grows Over Insurers (M.P. Mcqueen, Wall Street Journal)

While consumers have been fretting about the safety of their policies at large, publicly traded insurers, some smaller, less-watched companies have been running into trouble too.

* Munich-based Focus Magazine looking for foreclosure interviews (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

In an email from Germany this week, reporter Stefan Wagner says he is coming to Northern California in about 10 days to do a magazine story “on the effects of the financial crisis on Californians.” He has done some preliminary research and found that Merced has the state’s highest foreclosure rate – and would like to interview people in the foreclosure belt (my description) who are in process …

* Chase opens its Sacramento center for loan modifications (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

JPMorgan Chase opened its walk-in Sacramento foreclosure prevention center this morning with a 9 a.m. briefing for nonprofit loan counselors who have helping some of the bank’s troubled clients.

* How to pair high- and low-priced items at home (Olivia Stren, National Post)

At the Academy Awards in 1996, provocateuse Sharon Stone out-performed the be-sequinned and be-gowned when she sported a basic black Gap mock-neck T. She paired it with a floor-sweeping Valentino couture skirt and kicked off the voguish po-mo trend toward wedding the high and low. (Flip through any tabloid and behold pics of Hollywood glamourati shopping at, say, Whole Foods, dressed in food-st…

* Fannie, Freddie broaden refinance help (Kenneth Harney, San Francisco Chronicle)

Although initial reports suggested that the refis would be for owner-occupied primary residences, the guidelines sent to lenders March 4 by Fannie and Freddie say second homes and small rental properties are eligible, provided their mortgages already are in the companies’ portfolios or securitizations and have been paid on time.

* Transition from homeowner to renter can be jarring (Melissa Kossler Dutton, News Herald)

homeowner raises his hand to ask a question during a foreclosure information class held at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009. Millions of Americans have become renters again after foreclosure. While the transition from owner to renter can be difficult, real estate experts and financial consultants say it also can be an opportunity to change some thi…

* Immigration will fuel growth in GTA for next 25 years, CMHC says (Helen Morris, National Post)

There may be calmer times ahead for the housing market in the greater Toronto area. At this year’s Toronto Housing Outlook Conference, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said it expects sales of existing homes in the GTA will fall 8.5% in 2009 and new listings will increase 1.2%.

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