Interesting Housing News Links (February 5, 2009)

* Sarasota lawyer John A. Yanchek pleads guilty in fraud case (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

John A. Yanchek, a Sarasota attorney accused of an $82.7 million mortgage loan fraud, has pleaded guilty to three counts levied against him in the case and could face up to 45 years in prison and fines of $1.5 million.

* Participants in area mortgage fraud scheme sentenced (Business Journal Charlotte)

A Columbus real estate speculator and three others were sentenced this week for their roles in mortgage fraud schemes that took more than $2.6 million from investors and banks.

* 4 sentenced in mortgage scam (Columbus Dispatch)

For several years, they worked together to defraud lenders of millions of dollars in a series of property-flipping schemes.

* Interest rates at record low (ITN Online)

Interest rates have fallen to an all-time low after being cut by 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent in a bid to boost the deteriorating UK economy.

* Economic news good enough to propel 30-year rate to 5.25

McLEAN, Va. Rates on 30-year-fixed mortgages climbed this week after recent economic reports were better than expected, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

* Webviews (Times Union)

As grim as unemployment stats may sound, they don’t tell the whole story, writes Don Miller on Seeking Alpha. The average number of hours worked in a week, for example, is the lowest since 1964. And the jobless rate may be near 18 percent, more than twice the figure usually cited. http://tinyurl.com/cxrjph.

* Democrats defeat GOP plan on mortgage rates

WASHINGTON — A plan by Republicans in the Senate aimed at pushing mortgage rates lower has gone down to defeat at the hands of Democrats.

* TotalBank loses $6.5M in Q4 (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

After filing foreclosure lawsuits against a host of South Florida developers in recent months, TotalBank suffered a $6.5 million loss in the fourth quarter, down from a $3.4 million third quarter loss.

* Home of man linked to 1982 Tylenol deaths searched (Russell Contreras)

FBI agents carry boxes out of the apartment building in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009, after searching the apartment home of James W. Lewis, who was linked to the fatal 1982 Tylenol poisonings that triggered a nationwide scare. The Tylenol poisonings in the Chicago area prompted dramatic changes in the way food and medical products are packaged. The FBI would not immediately confir…

* Banks react to interest rate cut (BBC News)

Some of the UK’s major lenders have made an immediate decision to pass on the Bank rate cut to customers with a standard variable-rate mortgage (SVR).

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