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Distress

BUSINESS
September 13, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
Sales of foreclosed homes and sales of other distressed properties continued to fall in Southern California last month -- a big reason why the region's median home price rose in August. The flow of foreclosures onto California's market also slowed dramatically in August, meaning that there will be no second wave of foreclosed properties hitting the market anytime in the near future. Notices of default statewide fell 23.6% from July and were down 49.1% from August last year, according to data from ForeclosureRadar.com.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2012 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Federal agents have arrested three Southern California men in connection with a variety of schemes that caused more than $10 million in losses for homeowners, lenders and real estate investors who wanted to buy distressed property, authorities said. Arrested by the FBI and Secret Service were Atiqullah Nabizada, 29, of Coto de Caza; Kenneth Moore, 49, of Tustin; and Ahmed Tariq Asghari, 32, of Sherman Oaks. Nabizada and Moore were taken into custody Thursday at their homes; Asghari was arrested Friday morning in Miami Beach.
BUSINESS
June 14, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
For years, housing experts have worried that a "shadow" supply of homes heading into foreclosure hangs over the market. Although that supply does exist, it appears to be shrinking quickly, according to a new report. The housing data firm CoreLogic reported that shadow inventory stood at 1.5 million units as of April, representing a supply of only four months. That was a 15% decline from the same month a year earlier. That four-month supply is the lowest level since 2009 and mirrors a similar drop in the number of homes listed for sale.
BUSINESS
May 26, 2012 | E. Scott Reckard and Alejandro Lazo
Unable to qualify for modifications on Bank of America mortgages, a few of California's most distressed homeowners are being offered one last chance to stay in their homes: Become renters instead. Testing a mortgage-to-lease program in the Golden State, Bank of America Corp. sent 300 letters this week inviting borrowers without other options to apply. An additional 1,500 letters will go out in the next few weeks as the bank -- which also is testing the program in three other states -- evaluates whether a national rollout is feasible.
BUSINESS
May 16, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Angelenos are in some of the worst financial distress in the U.S., with the region's households facing below average credit, housing and employment figures. A nationwide index measuring the financial health of the average U.S. household is currently at 69.9, a hair under the stable 70 level, according to a report from nonprofit credit counseling agency CredAbility. Los Angeles' score is 62.7, placing it as the fifth most financially troubled metropolitan area in the country.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard
It's not quite a check in the mail, but certain distressed mortgage borrowers at Bank of America Corp. will be happy they opened the letter anyhow. The Charlotte, N.C., lender said Tuesday it has begun contacting about 200,000 customers who have fallen behind on home loans and owe more than their current home values. It is notifying them that they may qualify to have their loan balances reduced as much as $100,000 as part of a $25-billion, 49-state settlement over foreclosure abuses.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Wells Fargo & Co. has become so dominant in the mortgage business that major investors and federal regulators are worried that a financial hiccup at the giant bank could roil the already beleaguered real estate market. Wells originates 34% of all home loans - more than the combined total of the next seven biggest mortgage lenders. That's why regulators are closely watching the San Francisco bank, Paul J. Miller, a former Federal Reserve bank examiner, said Thursday. "The problem is there's a lot of systemic risk when one company has that much of the market," said Miller, an analyst specializing in mortgages at FBR Capital Markets & Co. Wells Fargo's balance sheet is viewed by analysts as being among the strongest of the nation's banks, and a major distress in its mortgage business is seen as unlikely.
BUSINESS
April 12, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
Wall Street investment firms have not had the most successful initial public offerings in recent years — and Oaktree Capital Group may be no exception. Despite being highly regarded, the Los Angeles distressed-debt manager raised less in its IPO on Wednesday than planned. The company announced that it raised $380 million by selling 8.8 million shares at $43 each. That's at the lower end of its proposed range of $43 to $46 a share, according to an earlier filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 2012
'Damsels in Distress' MPAA rating: PG-13 for mature thematic content including some sexual material Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes Playing: At the Landmark, West Los Angeles; ArcLight Cinemas, Hollywood
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 2012 | By Sam Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In a movie as stylized as Whit Stillman's "Damsels in Distress,"decor is destiny, so it's no accident that the dorm room shared by Violet (Greta Gerwig) and her roommates at a northeastern liberal arts college prominently features the poster for Max Ophüls' maudit masterwork "Lola Montès. " Violet, an amateur self-help guru who practices her questionable theories on her unfortunate classmates, doesn't share much with Ophüls' eponymous heroine, a Scottish dancer who reinvented herself as the Spanish mistress of a Bavarian king.
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