Interesting Housing News Links (February 10, 2009)

* Fraud sentence exceeds 12 years (Kansas City Star)

A federal judge in Kansas City, Kan., this week sentenced a Leawood man to more than 12 years for a scheme in which he and others used fraud to get $12 million in home loans.David Kostelec, 54, pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and one count each of providing false information to lenders and aggravated identity theft.Hi…

* Mortgage rates edge up again; remain above 5 percent (Philadelphia Business Journal)

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage keeps rising, hitting its highest number last week since the first week of December, according to real estate Web site Zillow.com.

* PM’s adviser blamed for collapse of HBOS (Andrew Grice, The Independent Online)

The Government’s crisis over the banks deepened last night when one of Gordon Brown’s key advisers was accused of sacking a whistleblower who predicted that reckless lending by banks would end in disaster.

* The SEC’s big failure (San Francisco Chronicle)

The SEC has failed miserably in its mission to protect investors and capital markets over the last several years. It was asleep at the wheel for the entire mortgage bubble, allowing banks to run rampant with easy credit and complicated financial products that few people understood. It even managed to ignore Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion confidence game – and now House representatives are accusin…

* Police, Fire & Courts: Woman charged in slashing; explosives found at home (Press of Atlantic City)

A Cape May Court House woman was charged with slashing her husband with a knife Sunday morning at the Mar Lee Motel in Rio Grande.

* Commercial, multifamily mortgage originations fall (Washington Business Journal)

Commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations plummeted 80 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 when compared to a year earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association .

* GOP mortgage rate plan dies (Peter Hong, Los Angeles Times)

The Senate just killed a proposal to drive mortgage rates down to 4% to 4.5%. The amendment to the stimulus bill would have had Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buying those low-rate mortgages on the secondary market. Jumbos would not have been included.

* RI gov proposes phasing out corporate income tax (Ray Henry)

Gov. Don Carcieri proposed Tuesday phasing out Rhode Island’s corporate income and estate taxes and cutting personal income tax rates, saying it would spur the economy and create jobs in a recession-stung state with 10 percent unemployment.

* Leawood man sentenced in home loan fraud (Kansas City Star)

A federal judge in Kansas City, Kan., this week sentenced a Leawood man to more than 12 years for a scheme to get $12 million in home loans.David Kostelec, 54, pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and one count each of providing false information to lenders and aggravated identity theft.His sentence was 154 months.F…

* Wall St., analysts: Too few details in Bailout 2.0 (Martin Crutsinger)

The new bank rescue plan landed with a thud on Wall Street.Worried that the revamped financial bailout was far too short on details, especially on how to clean up the books of the banks, investors drove the Dow Jones industrials tumbling more than 380 points.Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced a plan that could send as much as $2 trillion coursing through the banking sys…

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