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BUSINESS
By KEN HARNEY and KEN HARNEY,kenharney@earthlink.net | September 7, 2008
Improbable as it sounds at a time when American homeowners have lost billions in equity holdings, a new industry is taking shape to help them tap portions of their equity wealth without incurring traditional mortgage debt or making interest payments. Three companies with sophisticated capital market backers - REX & Co., Equity Key and Grander Financial - are offering cash to owners who agree to cut them into some of the future appreciation growth of their properties. The cash typically represents a fraction of the current market value of the home, and rises with the percentage of future appreciation the owner is willing to share.
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NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | August 14, 2008
Now starting its seventh season, Bay Theatre is known for professional excellence, innovatively produced within the confines of its 20-foot-wide stage. Its fame has grown, as I discovered in June at the annual conference of the American Theatre Critics Association in Washington, where a few of the 90 critics assembled had heard good things about the Annapolis-based company. Last season the nonprofit professional Bay Theatre Company became an Equity theater, a status that requires half of the actors in each production to be members of the Actors' Equity Association union.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and Tricia Bishop and M. William Salganik and Tricia Bishop,Sun reporters | July 3, 2008
After eight years of struggling to make a success out of MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals, chief executive and founder Edward M. Rudnic agreed to step down after a management shake-up and a $100 million investment from a private Chicago investment firm. It's the company's latest effort to bring its version of a time-released antibiotic to market. The announcement, made late Tuesday, took a punishing toll on the company's stock, which fell $1.55 - 50.5 percent - yesterday to close at $1.52. Investors had been counting on the ailing Germantown biotech to find a buyer and cash out. Few seemed to expect that MiddleBrook would continue to operate independently, in large part because the company faced such a tough time on its own during the past few years.
BUSINESS
By Paul Adams and Paul Adams,Sun reporter | April 10, 2008
Municipal Mortgage & Equity LLC, the real estate and alternative energy project financier, said yesterday that it is selling certain financial assets and curtailing parts of its business to conserve cash as it deals with the ripple effects of the souring credit market. The company said in a regulatory filing that lenders and investors who take positions in the funds it manages are pulling back from the business as they deal with credit problems. As a result of that and other difficulties, the Baltimore-based company, best known as MuniMae, is launching fewer funds, doing fewer deals and conserving cash until the situation stabilizes.
BUSINESS
By McClatchy-Tribune | March 25, 2008
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Federal prosecutors in Sacramento announced yesterday that 19 people have been indicted in a large mortgage fraud case that preyed on people close to foreclosure and stripped homeowners in two dozen states of millions of dollars in equity. McGregor Scott, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, unsealed the contents of two indictments that detail a conspiracy to strip 115 people of $12.6 million in equity and their homes in cases that stretch from California to New York.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN REPORTER | March 13, 2008
Legg Mason Inc. said yesterday that Brian S. Posner is stepping down as chief executive of ClearBridge Advisors, the money management division acquired from Citigroup Inc. that is suffering from underperforming equity funds and clients who are moving their money elsewhere. Posner, 46, is leaving March 31 to pursue "entrepreneurial activities in financial services," the Baltimore money manager said. Legg Mason said Posner's parting was amicable. Posner said in a statement that it was "an honor and privilege" to work at Legg.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,Sun reporter | March 12, 2008
The Maryland Senate gave preliminary approval yesterday to a bill that would allow state-chartered banks to continue to offer a type of home equity loan the state's highest court previously ruled was in violation of consumer protection laws. Sen. Thomas "Mac" Middleton, chairman of the Finance Committee, said that the court had erred in its ruling and that the legislature often steps in to clarify the law. The Senate might take a final vote on the bill this week; the House of Delegates unanimously approved similar legislation last week.
BUSINESS
By Stephen L. Rosenstein | March 2, 2008
Finding the right type of financing is often one of the most difficult parts of starting and building a small business. You may have a terrific plan and be a talented workaholic, but finding funding is another matter. Business owners often start with too little money. It's one of the most common reasons why new businesses do not make it. Sources and types of small-business financing fall into a few broad categories. It will be either debt or equity financing from an institution or informal sources.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,Sun reporter | February 2, 2008
A key state lawmaker is working with the banking industry's trade group on legislation that would reverse a Maryland Court of Appeals decision prohibiting certain penalties for borrowers who pay off home equity loans early. The case involved a popular loan program at Provident Bank that enabled borrowers to tap into equity in their homes without paying closing costs as long as they kept the loan for at least two to three years. Maryland's highest court ruled late last year that recouping the closing costs if a consumer refinances or pays off the loan before then amounts to a "prepayment penalty" that's not allowed under state law. Banking industry officials say that without a guarantee that borrowers will pay interest on home equity loans for at least a few years, they can't afford to offer no-closing-cost products, making borrowing more expensive for consumers.
NEWS
By Alia Malik and Alia Malik,Special to The Sun | January 20, 2008
After Maryland's highest court upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage last September, advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community changed their focus to lobbying the General Assembly. They proposed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, which would change the state law specifying that marriage must be between a man and a woman. These advocates have their work cut out for them. Last week, a Sun poll showed that only 19 percent of likely Maryland voters support same-sex marriage, compared to 39 percent who favor civil unions instead and 31 percent who oppose any legalization of same-sex unions.
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