Interesting Personal Debt News Links (May 06, 2009)

May 6, 2009

* Who really killed bankruptcy reform? (Emily.Flitter, American Banker)

The banking industry expressed grave fears over the mortgage cramdown legislation that failed in a Senate vote last week , but a post-mortem on the scene makes that anxiety seem a little overhyped. With so many different groups vying to kill the legislation, the vote last week was never a nail-biter.

* Empty neighborhoods fill Rust Belt (Dan Sewell, The Washington Examiner)

Painted murals spruce up a boarded-up building on Race St. in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday, April 9, 2009. The neighborhood, which took its name from early German immigrants, is highlighted by its 19th century Italianate architecture. Now, roughly two of every three homes there are vacant or used by squatters in some streches. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

* Bankers Worry: Worst Is Yet To Come (David Wessel, Wall Street Journal)

New loans may be profitable, given how cheaply banks can borrow today. But many banks are still worrying about whether they ll get paid back on old loans.

* Town cracks down on tax delinquents (Bettina Thiel, Lewisboro Ledger)

The town is moving to pressure tax delinquents into paying up their tax debt in an effort to raise revenue.

* The other mortgage insurance (Scott Van Voorhis, Boston Globe)

Whenever I mention Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), the insurance that covers the lender against your default, readers get confused. Where is the insurance that covers us, if we cant pay our mortgage? There are such programs for auto loans. Does such a thing exist for mortgage loans? Yes, Virginia, it does exist.

* Subprime lobbyists in $370m battle (Edward Luce, The Financial Times)

The top 25 US originators of subprime mortgages the risky assets that sparked the global financial crisis spent almost $370m in Washington over the past decade on lobbying and campaign donations as they tried to ward off tighter regulation of their industry, an investigation has shown.

* Homebuilders narrow their quarterly losses (Alex Veiga, Orange County Register)

The nation’s top three homebuilders this week reported financial results that gave little hope the spring selling season will be strong enough to stop the red ink.

* Editorial: Predatory lending bill needs to be refined (Gatehouse Media, Evening Times)

The Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, which goes before the House Rules Committee this week, would prevent lenders from washing their hands of loans once the loans have been bundled and sold off to investors.

* ‘Underwater’ homeowners piling up in Palm Beach, Broward counties (Paul Owers, S. Florida Sun-Sentinel)

More residents of Palm Beach and Broward counties are joining the ever-expanding club of homeowners who owe more than their properties are worth.

* View of the Day: Markets make feverish recovery (Kevin Gardiner, The Financial Times)

possible swine flu pandemic is arriving at a time when the global economy is on its knees and risk appetite still fragile. But in 2003, the worst news on Sars didnt prevent the global market from rallying, says Kevin Gardiner, head of global equity strategy at HSBC.

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