* Urban Policy (The Brian Lehrer Show: Wednesday, 29 April 2009) (Public Radio, WNYC)

* House prices have fallen by �45000 from peak Halifax says (Harry Wallop, Telegraph)

* Funeral home director admits embezzling more than $200,000 (Robert Patrick, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

* Recession may be over early, some forecasters believe (Kevin G. Hall, Sacramento Bee)

* L.I. POL TOOK CASH FOR CONTRACTS (Kieran Crowley, New York Post)

* Roberts: Obama will have to fight to reduce federal spending (Steven Roberts, Milford Daily News)

* Private sector jobs data adds to economic hopes (Burton Frierson, Reuters US)

* Verizon Continues SMS Spam Suits (Chloe Albanesius, PC Magazine)

* Student-loan program on chopping block (Aldo Svaldi, Denver Post)

* In Charlotte, Wells Fargo lays off 548 employees (Rick Rothacker, The Herald)

* Three Utah men charged in mortgage fraud scheme (Salt Lake Tribune)

credit ratings to take out loans on 12 homes in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties from 2005 through August 2007. The three men are charged with closing loans by using false information that inflated the straw buyers’ income and assets. Cash from the loans were allegedly paid out to joint ventures controlled by the defendants and purportedly deposited into an account to fund other straw-buyer l…

* 3 indicted in scheme involving mortgages (Ben Winslow, Deseret Morning News)

A federal grand jury has indicted three people in a mortgage-fraud scheme involving a dozen homes along the Wasatch Front, the latest in a growing problem that has been frustrating federal authorities.

* Mortgage rates sink; likely to fall further (Alan Zibel-)

WASHINGTON: Rates on 30-year mortgages plunged this week to the lowest level since January, and may fall further after the Federal Reserve launched a new effort to prop up the flailing housing market.

* Florida is No. 2 in mortgage loan fraud (Jupiter Courier)

Three years after the housing boom turned to housing bust, Florida still churns out fraudulent home loans at nearly three times the rate of the national average.

* Rural Yolo County to be hit by higher flood insurance costs (Hudson Sangree, Sacramento Bee)

Residents in three Yolo County hamlets Clarksburg, Yolo and Knights Landing say their towns haven’t flooded since levees were built in the early 20th century.

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* Oil falls below $37 as demand for crude wanes (Alex Kennedy)

* On the House: Is this a final farewell to ARMs? (Al Heavens, Philadelphia Inquirer)

* Ex-Rezko partner bankrupt (Chicago Sun-Times)

* Wells Fargo sees pain for small banks (St. Louis Business Journal)

* South of the Border, down Bernankes way (The Financial Times)

* Wells sees pain for small banks (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

* Wells Fargo execs predict pain for small banks (Boston Business Journal)

* Four arrested, one sought for conspiracy, grand theft charges in mortgage fraud case (Steven Beardsley, Naples Daily News)

* Savers abandon ISAs as they run out of money and rates fall (Harry Wallop, Telegraph)

* Stimulating Phoenix: City Looks for Bailout (Mike Von Fremd, ABC News)

* S&P sees 13.3 pct drop in 2009 dividend payments

* Japan Airlines facing annual loss (BBC News)

* Real estate fraud artist gets 52 months in federal prison (Steve Patterson, Florida Times-Union)

* Rifle prison closing a lose-lose plan (Daily Sentinel)

* Heads up: Rates rise for fixed-rate mortgages (Kansas City Star)

* Isle commercial realty sales expected to fall 33% in ’09 (Kristen Consillio, Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

* Rate cut brings limited benefits to borrowers (Sharlene Goff, The Financial Times)

* Bankruptcy protection sought by local builder (Josh Flory, Knoxville News-Sentinel)

* MOVERS (Asbury Park Press)

* Senate Democrats defeat Republican plan that aimed to encourage lower mortgage rates

* Number of bankruptcies leaps as companies fold (The Independent Online)

A record number of people in England and Wales were declared bankrupt during the final quarter of 2008 and company liquidations soared by more than 50 per cent, figures showed today.

* GRIM JOBS REPORT SHOWS NO SIGNS OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY (Clemente Lisi, New York Post)

The country’s unemployment rate jumped to a staggering 7.6 percent last month after recession-battered employers eliminated 598,000 jobs — the most at one time since 1974 — in another sign that the job climate is deteriorating at an alarming rate.

* Lender guilty of rape and assault (BBC News)

A loan shark who raped a client and threatened to petrol bomb another woman’s house has been convicted of rape, blackmail and assault.

* Consumer borrowing drops again in Dec. (Newsweek)

WASHINGTON – Consumer borrowing fell for a third straight month in December, the longest stretch in 17 years, as households cut spending amid a steep recession and rising job layoffs.

* Bomb threat loan shark convicted of blackmail (Banbury Guardian)

Paul Nicholson, 39, told one woman her mother’s house would be petrol bombed if repayments were not made and told another distraught woman: “Your priority is to pay me, not feed your kids.”

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