Interesting Housing News Links (February 19, 2009)

* Mortgage slump continues (ITN Online)

A government scheme to prevent people losing their homes has failed to help anyone, it has emerged.

* FED SAYS ECONOMY WORSE THAN THOUGHT

WASHINGTON The Federal Reserve warned Wednesday that the nation’s crippled economy is even worse than thought and predicted it would deteriorate throughout 2009, with no sign that the housing market will stabilize.

* Mortgage mess (Tappy Phillips, WABC)

It’s a story that shows the lengths some banks will now go to get money owed to them. We found an unemployed homeowner who says his own bank debited his bank account without him knowing. Incredibly, it’s a practice that’s perfectly legal, and if you’re not careful, it could happen to you.

* $75 billion mortgage relief plan unveiled (Green Bay Press-Gazette)

MESA, Ariz. President Barack Obama confronted the foreclosure crisis head-on Wednesday, promising mortgage refinancing options for those struggling to keep up with payments and relief for unemployed workers worried about losing their homes.

* Stocks tumble as recession worries worsen

– Investors around the world are betting that even with government stimulus and bailout programs, the global recession will just have to run its course.

* Canada’s economy could be worse off than the U.S. (National Post)

Canada could well have started 2009 in a worse recession than the United States after data showed the economy contracted in November at its deepest rate since the Ontario blackout five years ago.

* Long Island foreclosure filings drop last month (Ellen Yan, Newsday)

Foreclosure-related filings on Long Island last month fell by double digits compared to the same time a year ago, according to figures released last week by RealtyTrac , a California-based online market for foreclosures.

* Economic Crisis Is A Lose-Lose for Democrats and Republicans, Stimulus or No (Bonnie Erbe, Scripps Howard News Service)

I feel sorry for Democrats and Republicans trying to sort through the current economic crisis and pull the country through this Depressionerrecession. If they open the printing press’s floodgates, they satisfy the “woe is me” types. But they also expose federal funds to all manner of corporate abuse, as we saw with the first Bush Bailout dollars, some of which were spent on lavish vacations f…

* Housing downturn drops to new low (Martin Crutsinger)

WASHINGTON — Construction of new homes and applications for future projects both plunged to record lows in January as all parts of the country showed big declines in building activity.

* Former loan officer indicted for fraud (Houston Business Journal)

A former loan officer for Homeland Financial Group in St. Louis County has been indicted on mortgage fraud charges involving a property in the city of St. Louis, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said Thursday.

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