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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Occupy Spokane movement spotlighting its cause

A man who calls himself Ziggy leans against his bumper-stickered Dodge Stratus sedan, anchoring a stage light between his body and the roof of the car. He gazes up at the light’s path and tries to steady the equipment as the words “OCCUPY SPOKANE” in white lettering dance across the top of the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Spokane.

Downtown buildings change hands

Two of Spokane’s well-known but cash-strapped buildings concluded foreclosure sales Friday, closing the file on separate cases of large commercial properties falling victim to a distressed real estate market. The 17-story Wells Fargo Tower at 601 W. First Ave. and the six-level Holley Mason Building at 157 S. Howard St. both formally changed hands, culminating bank repossessions after the previous owners were unable to pay off loans.

Two major Spokane buildings in foreclosure sold

Two of Spokane’s well-known but cash-strapped buildings concluded foreclosure sales today, shutting the file on separate cases of large commercial properties falling victim to a distressed real estate market.

Rock Pointe owners file for bankruptcy

The Tacoma-based owner of the Rock Pointe Corporate Center has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, forestalling a foreclosure effort by creditors who say they’re owed more than $65 million. The north Spokane commercial office complex includes four buildings with more than 560,000 square feet of space. It was sold by its developer, Walt Worthy, to Prium Cos. LLC, of Tacoma, in 2005.

Suspected bank robber arrested in river

A convicted child rapist and suspected bank robber was pulled from the Spokane River on Wednesday after leading police on a chase into a cemetery. Lawrence A. Wideman, 43, was driving a car matching the description of a getaway vehicle used in a robbery at Wells Fargo at North Monroe Street and West Francis Avenue about 9:45 a.m. when police started following him.

Fate of reverse mortgages depends on compromise

The recent exit of Wells Fargo from the reverse mortgage industry will become a critical point in time for lenders and mortgage companies with plans to service the financial needs of seniors. Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest reverse mortgage lender, was the kingpin in the industry in more ways than one. It had 26.2 percent market share, according to the latest data from Reverse Market Insight, the largest network of reverse mortgage professionals and a money-making operation.

Caldwell: West Point trained local bankers to survive

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point graduates about 1,000 second lieutenants each year. Although trained to command men and women in combat, many leave the Army when their hitch is up and look for opportunities to use their leadership skills in civilian arenas.

Wells Fargo rolls out fixed-rate student loans

NEW YORK — Wells Fargo is hoping to make its student loans more attractive to families. The San Francisco-based bank says it is now offering fixed-rate student loans, which is a departure from the industry practice. Unlike federal student loans, the private student loans issued by banks typically come with variable interest rates that are tied to a benchmark rate.

Rock Pointe in receivership

Rock Pointe Corporate Center has been placed in receivership, and a trustee’s sale of a second major Spokane building owned by a related group is scheduled for next week. Rock Pointe tenants were notified Friday that Prium Companies, which in November 2005 paid $82.8 million for the complex, located at 316 W. Boone Ave., was no longer manager. No rent was to be paid to Prium, and no directions from that Tacoma company followed, according to a letter from Ted Durant & Associates Inc.

Parka-wearing man robs bank in Rathdrum

The Wells Fargo bank in Rathdrum was robbed at gunpoint Thursday morning by someone wearing a large parka and an orange ski mask, a news release from the Rathdrum Police Department said.

Settlement ends mortgage probe of Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is paying $24 million to end an investigation by Washington and seven other states probing whether lenders acquired by the company made risky mortgages to consumers without disclosing their perils. The states said loans known as option adjustable rate loans, or “pick-a-payment” mortgages, were deceptive to borrowers. Those particularly toxic loans allowed borrowers to defer some of their interest payments and add them to the principal balance. Borrowers could make payments so low that loan debt actually increased every month.