CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2013 |
Maurice L. McAlister overcame a dirt-poor childhood in Texas to achieve prominence in two fields as a young man - first as a builder, then as the head of Downey Savings & Loan, which became a Southern California banking fixture for decades under his leadership. Despite his considerable wealth, the man everyone called Mac remained a down-home character, living mainly in Bullhead City, Ariz., where he could hunt quail and elk and fish for bass. He nurtured close family ties along with the business: One of his three daughters was on Downey's board and a son-in-law rose to chief executive.
February 22, 2013 |
Dear Liz: I'll be done paying off my car in a couple of months. What's a good strategy for redirecting that money once it's paid off? Should I use the whole amount each month to start saving for my next car, or would I be better off splitting it up and putting it into several savings "buckets" such as retirement, emergency and my next car? I'm 35, have an emergency fund equal to four months' living expenses and only one other debt, a very low-interest student loan. Answer: If you aren't already contributing to a retirement plan, you should be. If you aren't contributing enough, that should be your priority even before you pay off your debt.
February 21, 2013 |
Activist investors have succeeded for the first time in placing a shareholder resolution on the risks of greenhouse-gas emissions up for a vote at a major bank, a step toward making climate change an important consideration for corporations. The resolution, which follows years of protests over banks financing certain coal operations, is to be included in proxy material being sent to shareholders of PNC Financial Services Group of Pittsburgh before the bank's April 23 annual meeting.
February 21, 2013 |
Experian Automotive's latest data on car loan delinquency rates holds bad news for the "repo man. " The auto loan industry's repossession rate plunged almost 28% in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same quarter a year earlier and stands at just 0.46%. However, the number of borrowers delinquent in their payments for 60 days increased slightly in the quarter to 0.74% from 0.76%. It was the first rise for either 30- or 60-day loan delinquencies in the fourth quarter since 2009.
February 19, 2013 |
The number of homeowners refinancing their loans through a popular federal program that allows underwater homeowners to get new rates surged to more than 2 million in November. In November, almost 130,000 homeowners refinanced their loan through the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which allows underwater borrowers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans to get lower rates, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Obama administration instituted a streamlined version of the plan last year.
February 15, 2013 |
A federal judge approved a $17-million loan from two movie studios to keep the lights on at troubled Rhythm & Hues, the award-winning visual effects company that worked on the Oscar-nominated “Life of Pi.” Rhythm & Hues, based in El Segundo, on Wednesday filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code after laying off 250 employees. As part of its plan to avoid liquidation, Rhythm & Hues said it secured a $17-million loan from Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox to complete work on current projects, including “R.I.P.D.” and “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.” Warner Bros., which is owed $4.9 million, is not providing any financing, the company said in court filings.
February 13, 2013 |
Ronnie Peoples, a former financial advisor for former NFL quarterback Vince Young, said Young took out a seven-figure loan during the 2011 lockout in part because Young wanted to throw a $300,000 birthday party for himself. Peoples made the statement during a deposition for a case in which Young is challenging a $1.7-million judgment against him by Pro Player Funding LLC, a lender that specializes in lending to pro athletes. Young had borrowed $1.9 million at 20% interest from them in May 2011.
February 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Duke Energy has already written off a $10-million line of credit the company guaranteed to help produce September's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., boosting the role of corporate funds in putting on the event. The loan is not due until the end of the month, but Duke wrote it off as a loss in the third quarter and reported it again Wednesday when it released its year-end earnings, noting that it took a $6-million loss and $4-million tax benefit for “DNC Host Committee Support.” Tom Williams, a spokesman for Duke, said the decision to write it off last year was a decision made by the energy company's controller for accounting purposes.
February 12, 2013 |
The student-loan market is not in a bubble and going into debt to pay for college is still worth it, according to a new report. But those are the rare bits of good news in the otherwise dispiriting report on students' escalating college debt. While concluding that diplomas are worth the money, the study by Wells Fargo economists found that the payoff may not come for years because graduates are squeezed by several factors. Tuition costs are rising faster than incomes. Graduates are having trouble finding solid jobs.
February 12, 2013 |
The entire student-loan process should be overhauled to make it easier and cheaper for students to pay for college, according to a report released Tuesday. Among the more than two dozen steps recommended by a private advocacy group are doubling the size of individual Pell Grants and simplifying application procedures. The report was issued by The Institute for College Access & Success, a well-respected group based in Oakland. Many of the recommendations would involve no added cost, according to the group.