Interesting Housing News Links (March 22, 2009)

* Murder Factory, Part 2: Decades of blight leave ZIP code 64130 reeling in violence (Tony Rizzo, Kansas City Star)

A taxicab, its side windows shattered, sat in the middle of the street with the driver’s bullet-riddled body still inside.Thirty feet away, Merlon Ragland stood on the front porch of the home day care she operates on East 60th Street and greeted parents as they dropped off their children.Pushing strollers or carrying little ones on their hips, they nego…

* Mortgage disclosures fail borrowers at alarming rate (Jack Guttentag, Daily Herald)

Q. The Associated Press recently ran a story about how the mortgage crisis was leading the federal government and states to tighten licensing and other requirements for operating as a mortgage broker. Will this have a material effect in curbing the abuses that led to the crisis?

* False fixes, real problems (The Spectrum)

Someone once said that Sen. Hubert Humphrey, D-Minn., a liberal icon of an earlier generation, had more solutions than there were problems.

* Boomers going bankrupt at faster rate (Newsweek)

NEW YORK – Americans over the age of 55 are filing for bankruptcy at a faster rate than the general population as growing mortgage debt and higher health care costs make them more vulnerable, a new study shows.

* Will housing mess drag down economy? (John W. Schoen, Newsweek)

As the housing market continues to grind through its worst slump in over a decade, some readers, like M.H. in Columbus, Ohio, are wondering how long it will take before the economy starts to slump along with it. But there are still some buyers out there. Frank in Missouri is getting ready to buy a house and wants to know if shopping for a mortgage is going to hurt his credit score.

* 25 People to Blame… (The Minnesota Daily)

Alan Greenspan, Henry Paulson, Bernie Madoff and, yes, George W. Bush all make TIME magazine’s list of 25 people to blame for the economic mess.

* Foreclosure hits past victim of domestic violence (The Herald)

RICHBURG — The word foreclosure has become so commonly attached to the economic crisis that sometimes it is forgotten in South Carolina that each foreclosure lawsuit has a name attached to it.

* Weak Food Inspection Protocol Revealed (CBS News)

Weak Food Inspection Protocol Revealed Salmonella Outbreak Highlights “Cozy Relationship” Between Inspectors, Food Producers

* Kidnapped by the drug cartel; a growing problem (The Spectrum)

Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris, a solid block of a man with a shock of thick gray hair, is stolid and patient, but there are limits. Clearly he is weary of explaining that this is one of America’s safest large cities, with declining rates of violent crime and property crime, even though it has one of the nation’s highest rates of home foreclosures. Unfortunately, there are the kidnappings.

* Britain heads for year-long battle with deflation (Times Online)

BRITAIN faces a year of deflation falling prices that will add to the pressures on the already deteriorating public finances, analysts say. Figures on Tuesday are set to show the retail prices index (RPI) down by about 0.8% on a year ago, projections by City economists show. This will mark the start of the first period of price deflation for nearly half a century.


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