* Mesa County foreclosures increase again (Marija B. Vader, Grand Junction Free Press)

Colo. The number of foreclosures in Mesa County climbed an additional 20 percent over the same period last year.

* Six Top-Notch Bond Funds (Tom Sullivan, Barron’s)

has caused many investors to stash their cash in certificates of deposit, money-market funds — even under the mattress. There’s a better alternative: bonds, some of which offer substantial value, and less agita than equity.

* How old is too old to work? (Kathleen Doheny, WATE)

April 10 (HealthDay News) — Debate about the ideal age to retire has been going on for years. But with the U.S. economy in a dramatic slump, the flip side of that question — how old is too old to work? — has become uppermost in many people’s minds.

* High yield REITs come with a warning (Janet Morrissey, Money)

(Fortune) — Many investors looking for safe havens in a rough market are latching onto double-digit dividend yields offered by real estate investment trusts.

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Another good piece of writing by George F. Will of the Sacramento Bee.

George F. Will

Police Chief Jack Harris, a solid block of a man with a shock of thick gray hair, is stolid and patient, but there are limits. Clearly he is weary of explaining that this is one of America’s safest large cities, with declining rates of violent crime and property crime, even though it has one of the nation’s highest rates of home foreclosures. Unfortunately, there are the kidnappings.

Read the whole article

* Mesa County foreclosures increase again (Marija B. Vader, Grand Junction Free Press)

Colo. The number of foreclosures in Mesa County climbed an additional 20 percent over the same period last year.

* Will you have cash after the closing? (Bob Kieber, Summit Daily News)

When a buyer plans on the purchase of a home, whether it is a primary home, a vacation home or an investment property, they tend to forget one thing in their figures, that is a Reserve. The buyer works with the real estate agent on the price and the mortgage professional on the mortgage program and interest rate, plus the down payment needed and the costs involved for the closing but most buyer…

* Got an ARM? Now might be the time to refinance (Connie Thompson, KPIC)

The Federal Reserve just threw more than a trillion dollars at the housing market, and now we’re looking at some of the lowest mortgage rates in years.

* The top 10 questions about loan modifications (Paul Clement, Grand Junction Free Press)

For many people trying to avoid foreclosure, the process of renegotiating their loan can be difficult to understand. If you are considering contacting your lender to try and arrange for a loan modification in order to avoid foreclosure, ensure that you are adequately prepared and able to present your case in the best possible light by getting as much information upfront as you can. I have compi…

* Germany to Take Hypo RE Stake (Ulrike Dauer, Barron’s)

–Troubled mortgage financier Hypo Real Estate Holding AG Saturday said its supervisory board and the German government agreed on a further capital boost by the government aimed to achieve sufficient recapitalization of Hypo RE, with the government taking an initial 8.7% stake. in Hypo RE.

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* Chase opens Sacramento office for troubled homebuyers (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

It’s nothing too special, just a long, gray row of cubicles on the second floor of a Washington Mutual Bank building near Arden Fair mall.

* USenate Addresses Economys Impact (Shane Ferro, Columbia Daily Spectator)

Columbia University Senators addressed financial concerns, ranging from the economic downturns impact on the endowment to its impact on student loans, at a monthly plenary meeting on Friday.

* Portsmouth bucks nationwide foreclosure trend (Adam Leech, Rockingham News)

While many communities in the state have seen sharp increases in foreclosures, plummeting home values, increased unemployment and significant drops in single-family home sales, Portsmouth has seen little to no change from 2006 to 2008.

* Low ‘teaser’ mortgage rates entice, but beware (Lesley Mitchell, Salt Lake Tribune)

the one-year variety. The Mill Creek Terrace condo development last week was offering qualified buyers a 4.625 percent 30-year loan with a 3.625 percent rate for the first year.

* Use Lent to help battle the bad-economy blues (Jeff Brumley, Florida Times-Union)

President Barack Obama and Congress have rolled out economic stimulus plans to reinvigorate the economy and bring hope to millions of Americans facing unemployment, foreclosure and tanking 401(k)s.

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* States Move to Cut, Cap Property Taxes (Martin A. Vaughan, Wall Street Journal)

Soaring property values in recent years swelled the coffers of counties and municipalities, raising calls for property-tax cuts. Now, even as foreclosures and dwindling home sales shrink local tax bases, a number of state governments are slashing or capping property-tax rates.

* Curse of the Zombie Banks Haunts Fed (Mark Gongloff, Barron’s)

The Federal Reserve’s lending programs have saved the financial system’s life. They also could be making its life miserable.

* Got an ARM? Now might be the time to refinance (Connie Thompson, KVAL)

The Federal Reserve just threw more than a trillion dollars at the housing market, and now we’re looking at some of the lowest mortgage rates in years.

* DON’T PAY FOR WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR FREE (Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press)

The phone call from a mortgage-modification company last fall couldn’t have come at a better time for Roy and Ilene Smith. The Hazlet couple was in debt and needed relief.

* Tempers flare at Saturday meeting over payday loan businesses (Julie Anderson, El Dorado Times)

The issue of money and fair lending regulations brought about a heated discussion Saturday afternoon.

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* Indictments unveiled in mortgage fraud sting

( Map , News ) – A lawyer, a tax-preparer and the owner of a mortgage brokerage are among more than a dozen people rounded up in what federal officials describe as a major crackdown on mortgage fraud in the Chicago area.

* Signs of Stress, Fraud on Roadside (Douglas Belkin, Wall Street Journal)

LAS VEGAS — Police detective Mark Menzie drove 55 miles into the desert Sunday to inspect the charred remains of a formerly silver Ford Expedition.

* Head of mortgage fraud scheme pleads guilty

( Map , News ) – Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Joy Jackson has pleaded guilty in a $35 million mortgage fraud scheme in the Washington area.

* Will: States can’t fight illegal immigration alone (Topeka Capital-Journal)

PHOENIX Police Chief Jack Harris, a solid block of a man with a shock of thick gray hair, is stolid and patient, but there are limits. Clearly he is weary of explaining that this is one of America’s safest large cities, with declining rates of violent crime and property crime, even though it has one of the nation’s highest rates of home foreclosures. Unfortunately, there are the kidnappings.

* Mortgage fraud cases ‘straining’ FBI (Washington Times)

The number of FBI agents investigating mortgage fraud has more than doubled in the past two years, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

* Y-S price dive one of nation’s worst (Howard Yune, Appeal-Democrat)

* What’s so bad about McMansions? (Sandy Bauers, Philadelphia Inquirer)

* February existing-home sales rise by 5.1 percent

* Mortgage program unfair (The Minnesota Daily)

* Tiffany blue (The Financial Times)

* Needs TLC (Beth W. Orenstein, Morning Call)

* More problems with mortgages about to hit (WJBF)

* Housing forum set for April, bankruptcy measure stalls (Las Vegas Sun)

* On tenants and foreclosure (Burlington Co. Times)

* Whitehouse Unveils Financial Rescue Plan. (KTSM)

George F. Will from Washington Post Writers Group says:

George F. Will

PHOENIX Police Chief Jack Harris, a solid block of a man with a shock of thick gray hair, is stolid and patient, but there are limits. Clearly he is weary of explaining that this is one of America’s safest large cities, with declining rates of violent crime and property crime, even though it has one of the nation’s highest rates of home foreclosures. Unfortunately, there are the kidnappings.

Read the whole article

* 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.

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* Blame Democrats for mortgage mess (Kansas City Star)

Democrats, including President Obama, act surprised by the fact that so many owe more on their homes than they are worth.

* Rhode Island tops nation in rate of mortgage fraud, report finds (Providence Journal)

Rhode Island has displaced Florida as the state leading the nation in mortgage fraud, according to a report made public yesterday by the Mortgage Asset Research Institute.

* Mortgage arrears up 31% in 2008 (BBC News)

The number of mortgage accounts in arrears has shot up by 31% in the past year, according to figures from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

* The losers won’t just lose quietly (Gil Smart, Lancaster New Era)

On Feb. 19, Rick Santelli of CNBC, railed from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade against President Obama’s plan to bail out homeowners facing foreclosures. He was you guessed it OUTRAGED, HE WAS OUTRAGED! because the Obama plan subsidizes the “losers,” people who should be made to suffer the consequences of their own poor decisions.

* Home reposessions 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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