Interesting Housing News Links (March 14, 2009)

* Household Net Worth Suffers Record Drop (CBS News)

Household Net Worth Suffers Record Drop Fed: U.S. Families’ Wealth Plunged 9 Percent During 2008 Fourth Quarter

* Wyo. man gets 2 years for threats to halt foreclosure (Howard Pankratz, Denver Post)

A man who threatened to kill IRS employees or anyone else who tried to enforce a foreclosure order on his Gillette, Wyo., property has been sentenced to 27 months in prison.

* Worthing man on trial for attempted murder (Eastbourne Herald)

Martin Hewlett, 45, rammed wife Anne off her bicycle as she rode back to their home in Guildford Road, Worthing, then drove back over her and left her for dead, it was claimed.

* Mortgage tax break threatened (Baltimore Sun)

The Obama administration’s budget threatens to cut a benefit many Americans view as practically a right – the mortgage interest tax deduction – and powerful real estate interests are fighting back.

* The Once and Future Mortgage Lender (Vito J. Racanelli, Wall Street Journal)

THE COST OF GOOD INTENTIONS IS OFTEN not obvious, but when the government is doing the intending, you can be relatively sure that the cost will be high. Northern Rock, nationalized by the United Kingdom early last year, might find this out soon enough.

* Lawsuit: Banks Steered Blacks To Bad Loans

Lawsuit: Banks Steered Blacks To Bad Loans NAACP Claims Wells Fargo, HSBC Gave Whites With Same Qualifications Lower Mortgage Rates

* Recession provokes frugal frenzy

NEW YORK Amy VanDeventer has always been a cheapskate. The recession is taking her to new extremes.

* Tax query on stock losses (Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Q: Can I deduct a loss in stocks I own from capital gains on the sale of a second home? – R. Fuja, Kingston

* Removing deductions could hurt homeowners (Daily Oklahoman)

WASHINGTON Call it the third rail of the federal tax system: the politically untouchable cluster of special benefits and subsidies set aside exclusively for homeowners, including deductions for mortgage interest, local property taxes and capital gains exclusions on up to $500,000 in sale profits.

* Calif. fugitives indicted in $7 million theft (Don Thompson)

Two Sacramento mortgage brokers were indicted Thursday on charges that they stole more than $7 million from a Florida lender.

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