March 28, 2013 |
In a push to simplify mortgage modifications, federal regulators announced a streamlined process that doesn't require borrowers to prove a hardship. "This new option gives delinquent borrowers another path to avoid foreclosure," Edward J. DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said in a statement announcing the modifications Wednesday. The new modifications, however, would not include reducing the loan balance, a move promoted by housing advocates and others but resisted by DeMarco, who says it would end up costing taxpayers money and would encourage defaults.
March 28, 2013 |
Bank of America Corp., which handles customer service on about 15% of U.S. home loans, has accounted for 30% of the mortgage complaints logged by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a new database made public by the federal watchdog. The level of customer discontent - far greater than at home-lending rivals Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. - reflects BofA's struggles since its 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp. in Calabasas. Countrywide had become the No. 1 mortgage firm by specializing in subprime and other high-risk loans.
March 27, 2013 |
In a push to simplify loan modifications, many borrowers who become 90 days or more past due on mortgages backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will be offered lowered payments without having to prove hardship, the federal regulator of the home-finance giants said. The streamlined modification program, to be put into effect in July, would reduce monthly payments by about 30% on average, officials said in announcing the program Wednesday. Eligible borrowers would receive letters explaining the modification offer and specifying the reduced payment.
March 24, 2013 |
CHICAGO -- What will the Kings look like after this five-game trip starting in the Midwest, winding through Dallas and finishing in Arizona? That, and one small drop-by, in the midst of it, to the most famous house in the country. This would be Tuesday's visit to the White House where the Stanley Cup champion Kings and the MLS champion Galaxy will meet President Obama . Returning to the previous question, the Kings could be a slightly different-looking team by the time they return to Los Angeles.
March 23, 2013 |
When is a fish not a fish but a drug? When government regulators take old laws and twist themselves into knots trying to apply them to new technology. In the emotionally charged battle over the safety and appropriateness of genetically modified foods, people on both sides agree that the way the government oversees genetically modified plants and animals is patchy, inconsistent and at times just plain bizarre. Soon, analysts say, the system may be stretched to the breaking point.
February 16, 2013 |
Magnus Walker steps between the scarred carcasses of Porsche 911s lining his garage wall. He pauses and points to a gaping hole where the car's front hood should be. "Cars in here have to die," he says, "so others can live. " With a chest-length beard and finger-thick dreadlocks, the 45-year-old English immigrant doesn't look like a prototypical buttoned-down Porsche collector. But for more than a decade, Walker has worked in downtown L.A.'s arts district, transforming scrap heaps into one-off custom 911s, earning him the nickname "Urban Outlaw.