News

2008

January

11
  • Underwater mortgage? How to stay afloat. There's hardly a homeowner out there who doesn't cringe at the thought of how far their home's value has sunk over the past year. But for those who find that they owe their mortgage lender…
  • Bank of America to buy Countrywide. Bank of America (BAC) said Friday it has agreed to buy Countrywide Financial (CFC) for $4 billion in stock, a deal that both rescues the country's biggest mortgage lender and expands the financial services empire…
09
  • Baltimore sues subprime lender over race. The city of Baltimore yesterday sued a major national lender for engaging in what it describes as abusive practices that have created a foreclosure crisis in black neighborhoods and eroded city coffers. The suit, filed…
  • Forecasters: No quick end to housing ills. It could be a long slump. Housing prices in Massachusetts and the nation likely will keep falling through next year and beyond, according to a growing chorus of economic forecasters. Eric Rosengren, president of the…
  • Bush mulling boost for the economy. President Bush said Tuesday that he is watching very carefully to see if the struggling U.S. economy needs a short-term boost from the federal government. "We're listening to different ideas about what may or may…
08
  • Countrywide tells judge it 'recreated' letters. The Countrywide Financial Corporation fabricated documents related to the bankruptcy case of a Pennsylvania homeowner, court records show, raising new questions about the business practices of the giant mortgage lender at the center of the…
  • Foreclosure hotline looks for help. A month after the Bush Administration announced a plan to help troubled homeowners, one foreclosure counseling agency is looking for some help of its own. "[We have] plans to hire new managers, counselors and customer…
05
  • Too good to be true tax myths. Every year at this time, I write a series of tax-related columns. The goal is to provide guidance for homeowners preparing to file income tax returns. Normally, millions of Americans try to file well before…
04
  • Ways to cope despite real estate's dire outlook. If you'd asked housing economist David Seiders at this time last year to forecast the real estate industry's future, he would have told you to expect "a recovery year" in 2008. "That outlook has been…
01
  • Your money: A gaze back, a look ahead. Los Angeles Times Business columnists share resolutions and admonitions for a rewarding 2008. From Kathy Kristof, David Lazarus and Tom Petruno.

2007

December

31
  • How a bank fell victim to loan fraud. Kathy Moore's loan application sailed through the mortgage desk at Lehman Bros. Bank, and little wonder. With sterling credit, deep pockets and two appraisals pegging the value of the Benedict Canyon house she wanted to…
30
  • Reverse mortgages hit by deceit. With the housing market in decline, unscrupulous sales agents are popping up in the booming reverse-mortgage industry, where reports of deceptive and high-pressure sales tactics are worrying lawmakers and consumer advocates alike. Both say thousands…
  • New California borrower, buyer protections. When the calendar turns to Jan. 1, several new real estate-related laws will come into effect, the most notable of which include state measures requiring greater disclosure of nontraditional mortgage products and of private transfer…
29
  • More hoops for borrowers. If you hope to get a mortgage this coming year, look beyond your credit score, because that's what lenders will be doing. The mortgage mess that has grabbed the attention of politicians, economists and investors…
  • Reason for hope next year. Queen Elizabeth II once famously referred to her "annus horribilis," a horrible year during which almost everything went badly, from royal-family scandals to a fire in Windsor Castle. The American housing market experienced its own…
27
  • Mortgage probes face big hurdles. he nation's largest banks are losing billions of dollars from the mortgage debacle. But will pain from bad housing bets be compounded by government investigations? As credit woes sparked by the troubled housing market threaten…
24
  • Mortgage mess has government scrambling. After a slow and stumbling start, Washington is scrambling to prevent the unfolding mortgage crisis from pushing the country into recession during an election year. There is a strong feeling, though, that the government will…
  • Homeowners with forgiven debt get timely tax break. Families who lost their homes to the foreclosure crisis this year will have at least one reason for cheer this holiday season: They won't have to worry about a big tax bill. Shortly before adjourning…
21
  • Allegations WaMu sought inflated appraisals. Federal regulators are looking into allegations that mortgage lender Washington Mutual Inc. pressured First American Corp. of Santa Ana to inflate appraisals of homes nationwide. Washington Mutual, the nation's largest savings and loan, said Thursday…
  • Mortgage crisis may require a guardian angel. I knew it was the Christmas season. There on television was Henry F. Potter, the mean banker, quizzing Pa Bailey, the idealist from the building and loan society. Have you put any real pressure on…
 

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