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Homeowners may get money from settlement

Fri., Oct. 10, 2008, midnight

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said Thursday homeowners in the state could get a piece of an $8.4 billion settlement of predatory lending allegations against Countrywide Financial Corp. if negotiations are successful.

The deal with 11 other states was announced Monday. Terms provide mortgage relief for as many as 400,000 homeowners nationwide who are in or near foreclosure, as well as those who have already lost their homes.

Eligible homeowners might have interest rates on their mortgages reduced or, if they carried adjustable rates, fixed. Initial rates could be as low as 2.5 percent. Renegotiated payments would consume no more than 34 percent to 42 percent of monthly household income.

Relocation assistance of up to $2,000 will be available to those who are no longer in their homes.

Bank of America purchased Countrywide on July 1.


Foreclosure rates double

Foreclosure rates in Spokane increased in August over the same month last year.

The rate of foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.6 percent in August, twice as high as in August 2007, according to First American CoreLogic, which gathers data on home prices, foreclosure and delinquency activity, real estate sales volume and mortgage loan activity.

The national foreclosure rate in August was 4.4 percent.

The number of outstanding foreclosures in Spokane, including new and existing filings, was 464 for the month.

The mortgage delinquency rate also increased in Spokane, with 1.6 percent of mortgage loans delinquent 90 days or longer, compared to 0.9 percent in August 2007.


Paper leaving new home

The Columbian newspaper is being forced by money problems to move out of its new building and back to its former offices, its publisher says.

Publisher Scott Campbell said Wednesday that The Columbian Publishing Co. needs to generate more revenue from the $30 million downtown building he and his wife, Jody, opened in January. Campbell said the company will either lease the entire 118,000-square-foot building or sell it.

Campbell also said the company is trying to negotiate a new loan and may seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors. Chapter 11 gives a business time to reorganize and return to financial health.

From staff and wire reports


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