Interesting Housing News Links (March 12, 2009)

* POLICE BEAT: Armed burglary alleged (Vanessa Fultz, Jasper News)

Two men are suspects in the burglary of a Live Oak home. Allison Jones, 24, 320 Horne Ave., Live Oak, was arrested for armed burglary and booked into the Suwannee County Jail March 5. The other suspect, a juvenile, remains at large.

* Freddie Mac reports massive loss (BBC News)

US mortgage giant Freddie Mac has revealed a loss of $50.1bn (�36.1bn) for 2008, and said it plans to ask the government for another $31bn of aid.

* Nine arrested over �40m mortgage fraud (Sandra Laville, Guardian Unlimited)

Nine people were being questioned yesterday by police investigating a multimillion pound buy-to-let mortgage fraud against one of Britain’s best-known high street lenders. Detectives arrested the nine yesterday on suspicion of a �40m fraud against the Bradford and Bingley bank in a case which sources say is the tip of the iceberg in a mortgage market riddled with toxic debt.

* Cops Say Elderly Client Shot S.C. Real Estate Broker (Fox News)

COLUMBIA, S.C. An 88-year-old client angrily seeking a down payment back on a deal shot a real estate broker in his office and then sat down in a nearby parking lot until police arrested him, authorities said Wednesday.

* Mortgage rates down, applications up nationwide (Pittsburgh Business Times)

Average residential mortgage rates declined to a near-record low, driven mainly by refinancing activity, according to survey data from the Mortgage Bankers Association .

* Foreclosure crisis: The fight hits home (Randy Furst, Star Tribune)

If I lose my job, Ill lose my house, said Ann Patterson as she participated in a sit-in Wednesday at the Hennepin County Sheriffs Office in Minneapolis. Patterson brought along her daughters Ruby, 5, left, and Shani, 3, as she joined others in an attempt to stop a sheriffs sale at 10 a.m.

* Threat of foreclosure hangs over more homes (Alan Zibel-)

WASHINGTON — Despite halts on new foreclosures by several major lenders, the number of households threatened with losing their homes rose 30 percent from last year’s levels, RealtyTrac is reporting today.

* Mortgage fraud suspects released (BBC News)

Nine people arrested over suspected involvement in a �40m mortgage fraud have been released on bail.

* Three charged in mortgage fraud in Wayne County (Detroit News)

DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged three people she claims were involved in a real estate mortgage fraud scheme.

* Mortgage lending slump continues (BBC News)

Mortgage lending continued to fall in January, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

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