Foreclosure filings drop to five-year low
WASHINGTON – Foreclosure filings fell in September to their lowest level in more than five years as a housing market rebound showed another sign of taking hold.
Substantial decreases in some states hard-hit by the collapse of the housing bubble helped reduce filings to 180,427 last month, down 7 percent from August and 16 percent from a year earlier, according to foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac.
The last time filings were that low was in July 2007.
Filings for the three-month period ending in September also were the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2007. RealtyTrac said there were 531,576 filings in the period, down 5 percent from the second quarter and 13 percent year-over-year, the ninth-straight quarter with an annual decrease.
“We’ve been waiting for the other foreclosure shoe to drop since late 2010, when questionable foreclosure practices slowed activity to a crawl in many areas, but that other shoe is instead being carefully lowered to the floor and therefore making little noise in the housing market – at least at a national level,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
Softbank in talks to invest in Sprint
NEW YORK – Japanese cellphone company Softbank Corp. was in talks Thursday about taking a substantial ownership stake in struggling U.S. carrier Sprint Nextel Corp.
Sprint, the third-largest cellphone company in the U.S., said the deal could be big enough to involve a “change of control” of the company. It didn’t provide any other details.
The news sent Sprint shares as high as $6.04, the highest level since 2008. Sprint shares rose 72 cents, or 14.3 percent, to close at $5.76 Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the talks, had reported earlier that the potential deal would help Softbank expand outside of Japan. It put the value of the transaction at more than $12.8 billion.
Wendy’s logo, pigtails getting makeover
NEW YORK – For the first time since 1983, Wendy’s is updating its logo in a move intended to signal its ongoing transformation into a higher-end hamburger chain.
Instead of the boxy, old-fashioned lettering against a red-and-yellow backdrop, the pared-down new look features the chain’s name in a casual red font against a clean white backdrop. An image of the smiling, cartoon girl in red pigtails floats above – though this girl looks more vivid and not quite as childlike.
CEO Emil Brolick said the current logo had served the company well for the past three decades, but that it was time for an update.