Interesting Housing News Links (February 22, 2009)

* Economic crisis ‘is as bad as they come’ (Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle)

This time, a tightly interdependent world has entered a synchronized contraction. Pretty much everyone is in trouble, leaving the world without an engine.

* US mortgages shake-up raises lawsuit fears (Saskia Scholtes, The Financial Times)

The US governments plan to pay mortgage servicers for modifying troubled home loans could expose servicers to a new breed of lawsuit from disgruntled mortgage investors, say industry insiders.

* Home construction plunges to record low (KABC)

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.

* Training: Accident Watch (Rotor & Wing)

On Sept. 21, 2008, at about 0538 CDT, the Robinson R44 II was destroyed when it impacted an occupied house and terrain near Kenosha, Wis. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The private pilot and a passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight originated from the Horseshoe Casino Heliport near Whiting, Ind. about 0430, an…

* Those Who Suffered Wind Damage May Reap Tax Break (WLWT)

CINCINNATI — With the federal tax deadline fast approaching, some homeowners may be in line for a break due to recent weather-related damage.

* Family allowed to remain in home as mortgage fraud case proceeds (Susan Essoyan, Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Question: Whatever happened to Debbie Aurelio and her family, who lost title to their Ewa Beach home and faced eviction after allegedly being swindled by mortgage scammers?

* Construction’s worst year (Jeff Collins, Orange County Register)

Construction’s worst year With residential and commercial projects reaching their lowest levels in at least 62 years, builders and the companies they hire are struggling to survive.

* Methuen homeowner says black mold made family sick (J.J. Huggins, Eagle-Tribune)

METHUEN A single mother with 8-year-old triplets says she and her children became ill from black mold after a contractor improperly installed insulation in her condex.

* The art of mortgage renegotiation (Rob Carrick, The Globe and Mail)

Falling mortgage rates have revealed yet another way the banks are charging their clients more in these financially stressful times.

* Tax delinquencies, foreclosures up in Ottawa (Jeff Cunningham, Advance Newspapers)

As if Ottawa County officials needed any more proof that the recession has hit Ottawa County as well as the rest of the state, Ottawa County Treasurer Bradley Slagh revealed late last month the county has seen a 36-percent increase in property taxes that are delinquent and nearly a 100-percent increase in the number of properties facing tax foreclosure.

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