Interesting Housing News Links (February 7, 2009)

* Immorality and greed (Lancaster New Era)

The year 2008 was a year of despair for many people in our nation. Many people lost their jobs and others lost their homes to foreclosures. People who saved for retirement have seen their savings go down as much as 50 percent.

* Man admits drug plot (John Futty, Columbus Dispatch)

A Galena man risks life in prison after agreeing yesterday to a plea deal in which he admitted selling drugs, some of which were financed through mortgage fraud.

* Real-estate agent gets 41 months in prison in mortgage-fraud case (Houston Business Journal)

Real estate agent Linda Edwards was sentenced Friday to up to three years and five months in federal prison and ordered to pay nearly $800,000 after her conviction in a mortgage fraud case.

* Barnegat man admits cruelty in deaths of 64 animals (Press of Atlantic City)

BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP – A township man who left 64 animals to die in his foreclosed home last April has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.

* Flood insurance: Better safe than sorry (Daily Record)

KITTITAS CONTY Kittitas Countys January floods served as a wake-up call to many area residents living in flood-prone areas.

* Michigan to lead suit against Bear Stearns (Christine Williamson, Pensions & Investments)

Michigan Retirement Systems, Lansing, was named lead plaintiff in a federal securities class-action lawsuit accusing Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. and five of its current and former executives of misleading investors.

* Record number of homes sitting empty (Kathleen M. Howley, Bloomberg News)

A record 19 million U.S. houses stood empty at the end of 2008 as banks seized homes faster than they could sell them and prices continued to fall.

* Weyerhaeuser quarterly loss tops $1 billion (News Tribune)

The recession hit Weyerhaeuser Co. hard at the end of last year, the forest products giant said Friday. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of more than $1 billion.

* The roof could cave in on flood cover if we let our defences go down (The Independent Online)

After the snow come the floods February is a peak time in Britain for burst banks. And while insurers have a commitment not to cancel the cover of policyholders in “high-risk” areas, the longer-term security of homeowners could be under threat as a result of the Government’s strained finances.

* Calif. fugitive charged in $100M mortgage fraud (Don Thompson)

Assistant U.S. attorneys Matt Stegman and Russell Carlberg said 27-year-old Christopher J. Warren of Sacramento had been cooperating in their investigation before he fled. They believe he flew to Mexico on Monday by chartering a private jet for $156,000.

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