Interesting Housing News Links (February 14, 2009)

* Murder trial in Italy: US student had a scratch (Alessandra Rizzo)

PERUGIA, Italy — An American student accused in the stabbing death of her British roommate had a scratch on her neck hours after the killing, a witness testified Saturday at the murder trial in Italy.

* Challenges mount in countering the housing crisis (Kevin G. Hall, Sacramento Bee)

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama on Wednesday will roll out a plan to attack the trigger of the current global financial crisis: rising U.S. mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates.

* One in nine American houses empty (Andrew Clark, Guardian Unlimited)

America’s housing market has suffered such a drastic collapse that one in nine homes are vacant as people abandon properties after failing to keep up mortgage or rent payments.

* Feds: gold coins seized from Calif. fraud suspect

Federal prosecutors have seized gold coins estimated to be worth more than $400,000 from a safe deposit box belonging to Christopher Warren, the suspect in a nationwide mortgage fraud scheme who was caught this week.

* Pa. foreclosures drop slightly from December to January

HARRISBURG The number of Pennsylvania homeowners falling behind on mortgages dropped nearly 11 percent from December to January.

* Obama to unveil plan for stemming foreclosures, but new problems emerge (Kevin G. Hall, Sacramento Bee)

President Barack Obama next Wednesday will roll out a plan to attack the trigger of the current global financial crisis: rising U.S. mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates.

* Signs of slowing in UK house price falls (Norma Cohen, The Financial Times)

The average price of a home in England and Wales fell for the eleventh consecutive month in January, according to data from the latest FT House Price Index, wiping out the gains of rising house prices earned since April 2006.

* FBI’s anti-fraud efforts get no boost from stimulus package (Darryl Levings, Kansas City Star)

To many Republicans, the $75 million tucked into the economic stimulus bill to hire new FBI agents was wasteful or inappropriate, right up there with new icebreakers and stop-smoking programs.But to many, the desolation left from the financial debacle would appear especially fertile ground to grow new jobs, at least in the crime-busting field.The FBI has 530 active corporate-fraud…

* Snowmass Cynic’s Sanctum (Robert Weller, Snowmass Village Sun)

Iran has joined the Space Age with the launch of its own satellite, raising the question in many Western minds of when not whether the countrys government will have to be overthrown again.

* Interest rate falls for 30-year mortgages (Los Angeles Times)

A federal judge in Los Angeles has dismissed Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry T. Nicholas as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit by shareholders over the backdating of stock options.

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