Interesting Housing News Links (March 19, 2009)

* Employees: We were all afraid of him’ (Jason Foster, The Herald)

The 88-year-old man accused of shooting a realty company manager Wednesday over a deposit dispute is in the last stages of prostate cancer and had learned the same day that his only daughter had died, according to court testimony Thursday.

* Take a look at what FEMA is up to (Daily News of Newburyport)

I have gathered quite a bit of information about FEMA’s new digital flood maps and how it appears to be some shenanigans going on at FEMA. FEMA has digitized the flood maps in Salisbury and is looking to have the maps approved at Town Meeting in May. FEMA is also planning to digitize the flood maps in all of Essex County sometime this year. When FEMA gets the new maps approved in Salisbury, FEM…

* Three Utah men charged in mortgage fraud scheme (Salt Lake Tribune)

credit ratings to take out loans on 12 homes in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties from 2005 through August 2007. The three men are charged with closing loans by using false information that inflated the straw buyers’ income and assets. Cash from the loans were allegedly paid out to joint ventures controlled by the defendants and purportedly deposited into an account to fund other straw-buyer l…

* 18 metros post jobless rates above 10% (Pacific Business News)

Eighteen of the nation’s 100 largest labor markets now have unemployment rates of 10 percent or more, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued Thursday.

* 3 indicted in scheme involving mortgages (Ben Winslow, Deseret Morning News)

A federal grand jury has indicted three people in a mortgage-fraud scheme involving a dozen homes along the Wasatch Front, the latest in a growing problem that has been frustrating federal authorities.

* Buytolet: London rental market ‘worst’ performer (Bloomberg News)

Londons rental home market was the worst regional performer in the U.K. for the three months ended Jan. 31 as a record number of properties were up for lease, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said.

* Mortgage rates sink; likely to fall further (Alan Zibel-)

WASHINGTON: Rates on 30-year mortgages plunged this week to the lowest level since January, and may fall further after the Federal Reserve launched a new effort to prop up the flailing housing market.

* Florida is No. 2 in mortgage loan fraud (Jupiter Courier)

Three years after the housing boom turned to housing bust, Florida still churns out fraudulent home loans at nearly three times the rate of the national average.

* Rural Yolo County to be hit by higher flood insurance costs (Hudson Sangree, Sacramento Bee)

Residents in three Yolo County hamlets Clarksburg, Yolo and Knights Landing say their towns haven’t flooded since levees were built in the early 20th century.

* Mortgage rates near all-time low (Pacific Business News)

Market watchers expect the Federal Reserve ‘s decision to buy U.S. Treasuries will drive down mortgage rates in coming weeks, but they were already falling this week.

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