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BUSINESS
April 29, 2013 | David Lazarus
A growing number of Indian tribes are getting into the payday loan business, saying they just want to raise revenue for their reservations while helping cash-strapped consumers nationwide. But federal officials suspect that, at least in some cases, tribes are being paid to offer their sovereign immunity to non-Indian payday lenders that are trying to dodge state regulations. So far, the tribes have prevailed over California and other states that have tried to assert authority over tribal lending operations.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
April 27, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - Are you on the home-buying sidelines this spring because you think you won't be able to qualify for a mortgage? Do you know what sort of FICO credit scores are being accepted by lenders at the moment - they're lower than they were a year ago - and whether yours could now be good enough? You may be part of the surprisingly large crowd of folks who fear the home-loan unknown. A new national consumer survey found that 56% of potential purchasers of homes say they're out of the market because they don't want to face the possibility of rejection by lenders.
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BUSINESS
August 20, 2009 | Nathan Olivarez-Giles
More than two dozen members of the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN, gathered outside the home of a Los Angeles truck driver and his family Wednesday afternoon in an effort to keep the home from being sold. The small rally was a part of the activist group's "Home Wreckers" campaign targeting mortgage lenders that aren't adjusting loans under the Obama administration's $75-billion Making Home Affordable program and other home-saving efforts from the federal government, said Anthony Panarese, an ACORN organizer.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
Lenders were offering 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at an average of 4.34% this week compared with 4.41% a week ago, according to the widely watched survey from home finance giant Freddie Mac.  The decline in rates, reflecting a belief that overall inflation remains at bay, was also seen in 15-year fixed loans, which dropped from an average 3.47% to 3.38%. Start rates for adjustable-rate loans also fell, according to Freddie Mac. QUIZ: Test your knowledge of home lending Freddie Mac asks lenders across the nation about the terms they are offering on popular loan types to borrowers considered low risk and with 20% down payments or equivalent home equity in the case of refinance loans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2012
Murray Lender Chief executive of bagel company Murray Lender, 81, who helped turn his father's small Connecticut bakery into a national company credited with introducing bagels to many Americans, died Wednesday at a Miami hospital of complications from a fall several weeks ago, said his wife, Gillie Lender. Lender's father, Harry, immigrated to the United States from Lublin, Poland, in 1927 and opened what would become Lender's Bagels that year in an 800-square-foot bakery in New Haven, Conn.
BUSINESS
September 25, 2012 | By David Lazarus
Illustrating yet again how tough it can be to get a level playing field with business interests, federal watchdogs say that one in five consumers is likely to receive a credit score different than the one given to lenders. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's study shows that while you might think you're entirely credit-worthy, banks and others are possibly being told a different story. "This study highlights the complexities consumers face in the credit-scoring market," said Richard Cordray, the agency's director.
BUSINESS
April 18, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Lenders who discriminate on the basis of certain demographics when dealing with auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, student loans and more are now in the cross hairs of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The watchdog declared war Wednesday against unfair lending practices that price out, reject or otherwise put certain consumers at a disadvantage. Even lenders who don't intend to be biased but whose policies end up cutting off certain portions of the population - known as disparate impact - will be taken down, bureau officials said.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2014 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- New York borrowers stand to get more than $35 million in debt relief under an agreement between the state's attorney general and an Anaheim-based online lender. New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman said Friday his office had settled a lawsuit accusing CashCall Inc. of illegally charging borrowers triple-digit interest rates, then hounding them once they inevitably fell behind. The suit was filed in August. Under the settlement, CashCall -- along with Western Sky Financial, WS Funding and their owners -- will pay $1.5 million in penalties.
BUSINESS
August 12, 2009 | Peter Y. Hong
The backlog of California homes in default, but not yet repossessed, keeps growing. At some point, many of these properties will be repossessed and put back on the market. Until then they remain, clogging the system as "shadow inventory," most likely to be foreclosed and sold again. Key data points from ForeclosureRadar, an online seller of California default data: Default notices, which are sent when a borrower has missed several payments, were up 12% in July compared with a year earlier.
WORLD
March 24, 2013 | By Anthee Carassava
ATHENS -- Officials from Cyprus and international lenders were locked in long and tortuous talks Sunday, trying to strike a deal on a rescue plan that would keep the island's failing banks from collapsing while maintaining membership in Europe's single currency. Information seeping out of the talks was both confusing and conflicting. Still, as of late Sunday, officials from the island republic, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund showed no sign of a breakthrough, delaying an urgent meeting in Brussels of finance ministers of the 17 nations that use Europe's single currency.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2014 | By Lew Sichelman
If the ease with which hackers pilfered the financial information of millions of Target and Neiman Marcus customers has you worried about how easily your private data can be lifted from your mortgage company, wait until you hear what a major cybersecurity firm found out about lenders. Here's a hint: It isn't good. According to Halock Security Labs, mortgage companies big and small allow information-sharing practices that put your personal and financial data at grave risk. FOR THE RECORD: Data security: The Housing Scene column in the March 2 Business section about how to ensure that personal mortgage information is safe from hackers said that Brian Koss is president of Mortgage Network.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
Here's some welcome news for first-time and lower-income mortgage borrowers: Home loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration are getting easier to come by. The average credit score on FHA-backed loans declined steadily in 2013, Inside Mortgage Finance reported Wednesday. The trade publication said FHA borrowers' average debt-to-income ratio - a measure of how much of their earnings are needed to keep up with housing and other debt payments - rose noticeably as well. That's another sign that banks have eased up a bit. QUIZ: How much do you know about mortgages?
OPINION
February 13, 2014
Re "Payday lenders can't hide ugly rates," Column, Feb. 11 The payday loan industry can try and dress up its loans to look less abusive, but it's just putting lipstick on a pig. Californians pay $578 million in interest payments on payday loans every year, with interest rates ranging from 175% to 480%. It's no wonder the proposal to have the U.S. Postal Service provide low-interest loans is attracting so much attention. Even after accounting for jobs created by the industry, the Insight Center for Economic Development found that payday lenders are responsible for a net loss of $135 million in economic activity in California every year.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2014 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- New York borrowers stand to get more than $35 million in debt relief under an agreement between the state's attorney general and an Anaheim-based online lender. New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman said Friday his office had settled a lawsuit accusing CashCall Inc. of illegally charging borrowers triple-digit interest rates, then hounding them once they inevitably fell behind. The suit was filed in August. Under the settlement, CashCall -- along with Western Sky Financial, WS Funding and their owners -- will pay $1.5 million in penalties.
BUSINESS
January 18, 2014 | E. Scott Reckard
Most of the risky mortgages that triggered the financial crisis have disappeared from the marketplace, and lenders will have even more reason to avoid them because of a new federal crackdown on loose lending. But one housing-bubble favorite -- the interest-only loan -- will remain a common offering to well-heeled home buyers, despite new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The rules, which took effect last week, exclude interest-only loans from "qualified mortgage" status, which protects lenders from liability over defaults.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Julia is apparently having trouble with her mortgage lender because she wants to know how long such companies have to maintain phone records. I'm guessing that she's hoping there's a smoking gun in one of her past conversations with a bank rep. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Federal law requires that big banks keep customers' checking and savings records for a minimum of five years. Mortgage records can vary from state to state, but it looks like most require that such files be kept for at least three years.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2010 | By Lew Sichelman
That pizza you had delivered the other night could mean the difference between whether you are approved for a mortgage or rejected. There's a big stretch between making a house payment and paying for a pizza. But it's not what you pay for carryout that matters, at least not in the eyes of lenders. It's where the food was delivered. Ordering takeout proves that you live where you say you do, and that helps lenders uncover the crook who claims to live in the property he is trying to refinance when he really lives hundreds of miles away.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2012 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: We have a family member who recently was approved by Social Security for a complete disability claim. This person will never work again but has an outstanding student loan. The lender has a formal mechanism to apply for loan forgiveness, but is refusing to accept medical documentation of the disability. What appeal process is there and how can we force them to act? Do we need to retain legal counsel and incur additional expense to enforce a legal process and achieve loan forgiveness?
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