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NEWS
August 25, 2013
Fear not, boardwalk vacationers. Labor Day may be approaching, but one of summer's favorite pastimes, the Whac-A-Mole game, is getting an extended run. We speak, of course, of Maryland's unceasing efforts to protect consumers from unscrupulous payday lenders. Just like those varmints that pop up unpredictably - and must be hammered with authority - these modern-day Shylocks charging their 400 percent interest rates are not easily thwarted. Since 2005, every state in the union has adopted laws banning such loans, yet an estimated 12 million Americans are trapped in the payday lending cycle.
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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2014
A planned Southern Maryland power plant that was to be built with state help — an arrangement that set off an industry fight — landed financing Friday to start construction despite a court ruling quashing the assistance. Silver Spring-based Competitive Power Ventures and its partners said they received financing from 15 lenders, including GE Energy Financial Services, which anchored the effort. Major construction on the $775 million Waldorf plant is expected to start in September.
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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | August 25, 2010
State auditors say Maryland's office of financial regulation has a backlog of mortgage firms overdue for examinations, a problem officials have been grappling with for years but believe will be fixed soon. The office, part of the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, is required by law to put each mortgage lender, servicer and broker firm under the microscope once every three years to make sure no rules are being broken. More than 360 of the state's 2,090 licensed firms were overdue for a visit as of early November, some by years, legislative auditors said.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
The General Assembly will consider a handful of bills related to the mortgage crisis, but unlike in previous years, many focus on what happens to borrowers after foreclosure. The bills — most of which would limit the risks of debt that can linger after homeowners have lost their houses — are important, proponents say, but they are smaller in scope than in years past, a reflection of a system that has experienced drastic overhaul since 2008. "There's been significant improvement.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | July 16, 2010
The lenders who backed a struggling downtown Towson mall launched foreclosure proceedings in Baltimore County Circuit Court this week. Capmark Finance Inc., the New York-based lender to Towson Commons LLC, disclosed in its court filing that the company holds two loans, one for $49 million and the other for $17 million on the property, owned by Western Development. Cushman Wakefield, a New York-based commercial real estate brokerage and consulting firm, confirmed last week that it has been hired by Capmark "to advise them on the disposition of both the note and the property," according to David Baird, a senior managing director for the brokerage firm's Maryland region.
BUSINESS
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | September 13, 2010
Three vacant, mall anchor spots once home to Boscov's department stores were bought back by lenders in a foreclosure sale Monday after no one showed interest in the properties at auction. Alex Cooper Auctioneers held an auction to sell off the former department store buildings at White Marsh Mall and Owings Mill Mall in Baltimore County and Marley Station in Glen Burnie. The auction of the properties could have opened the door for new owners to come in and improve the properties and find new tenants.
BUSINESS
May 14, 1995
Local lenders hope to reach thousands of potential low- and moderate-income customers next weekend during the second annual ACORN & Friends Bank Fair.Help will be available for potential homebuyers and others seeking home improvement or small business loans or looking to refinance a mortgage -- even for those who've been turned down before, say sponsors ACORN, the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now, and 15 area banks."If people are paying $250 or more a month in rent, they can buy a house rather than pay a landlord," said Kelley Collings, head organizer for Maryland ACORN.
BUSINESS
By Kenneth R. Harney | March 24, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Picture this: You pull all your financial records together to apply for a new mortgage. You tote up your monthly income and stack it against your total monthly payments for debts.Turns out that your overall debt-to-income ratio a critical factor in whether you get a home loan or not is off the charts: 60 percent of your income goes to pay regular monthly debts. Since the mortgage industry typically sets a 33 percent to 36 percent ratio as the maximum permissible for conventional loans, you figure your application is going nowhere.
BUSINESS
May 16, 1999
Dear Mr. Azrael:I am writing to ask for a more complete response to the question posed by Bill Sharp in the March 21 column. He asked what recourse one has concerning a mortgage problem when it is not possible to get help from a mortgage company's customer service line.Gillian S. MooreColumbiaDear Ms. Moore: Here is my advice for handling problems with your mortgage company.Put your complaint in writing and send it to the mortgage company at the address listed in your mortgage owner book.
BUSINESS
By KENNETH HARNEY | April 8, 2006
An important debate is raging inside the home-mortgage market, though well beyond the earshot of most consumers. The issue: Wildly popular "payment-option," interest-only and piggyback loans, and the financial risks they pose to homebuyers and lenders alike. On the one hand, federal financial regulators say the risks are too significant to ignore, so lenders need to take care in evaluating and approving customers who apply for these mortgages. The regulators want to impose new creditworthiness restrictions and disclosure requirements forcing lenders to be certain that borrowers understand the potential dangers.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | December 20, 2013
After losing her job as a teacher, Guernica Williams tried for months to get her bank to modify the mortgages on her Windsor Mills home. When her unemployment insurance ended in 2012 and she defaulted, she kept trying, leaving voice mails for a changing roster of case managers and repeatedly submitting documents. In September, she met with a Wells Fargo representative at a court-administered mediation session, where she received assurances that the bank would review her loan, if she submitted additional documents.
NEWS
August 25, 2013
Fear not, boardwalk vacationers. Labor Day may be approaching, but one of summer's favorite pastimes, the Whac-A-Mole game, is getting an extended run. We speak, of course, of Maryland's unceasing efforts to protect consumers from unscrupulous payday lenders. Just like those varmints that pop up unpredictably - and must be hammered with authority - these modern-day Shylocks charging their 400 percent interest rates are not easily thwarted. Since 2005, every state in the union has adopted laws banning such loans, yet an estimated 12 million Americans are trapped in the payday lending cycle.
BUSINESS
August 9, 2013
Beyonce has chosen to go with a new pixie cut, a Russian man has sued a bank after they refuesed to honor the (modified) contract they signed, and the email provider previously used by former Marylander Edward Snowden has shut down under what appears to be a mysterious gag order. Welcome to your trends report for August 9, 2013. Trending now What: Beyonce Haircut Where: Google search Why: This latest move may mark her continued foray into the land of androgyny and general boss-itude.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2013
State regulators have ordered a South Dakota-based payday lender to stop making consumer loans in Maryland after finding the company used predatory tactics and charged excessive interest rates. Western Sky Financial, located on a reservation in Timber Lake, S.D., has said it was not required to follow Maryland law because of tribal immunity, according to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The labor department's Division of Financial Regulation said Thursday it has issued a final cease and desist order against Western Sky, its owner Martin Webb and other related parties.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2013
A mortgage lender based in Utah has agreed to pay a Baltimore woman $13,000 for denying her a loan because she was pregnant and on maternity leave, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday. Primary Residential Mortgage Inc., based in Salt Lake City, also agreed to adopt a parental leave policy, to ensure its employees are complying with family status provisions of the Fair Housing Act, which prevents lending discrimination based on other applicant traits including sex, race and religion.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | March 18, 2013
The Inn at the Black Olive, a 12-suite boutique hotel in Fells Point known for eco-friendly amenities, will be offered for sale at a foreclosure auction Thursday. An auction by Alex Cooper Auctioneers Inc. is slated for 9 a.m. at the South Caroline Street site of the two-year-old inn, which touts features such as organic bedding and towels, harbor-view balconies and spa bathrooms with aqua-therapy tubs. The inn is owned by the Spiliadis family, which operates the Black Olive Restaurant on Bond Street, also in Fells Point.
BUSINESS
By KENNETH HARNEY | March 3, 2002
IF YOUR HOME mortgage lender guaranteed you freedom from last-minute settlement fee surprises, would that matter to you? If your lender promised to let you review and question your closing costs weeks before settlement, would that be a plus? Some of the most powerful players in the U.S. home mortgage market - including giant investor Fannie Mae - are banking that you'll answer yes. They are gearing up to introduce a more convenient way of doing home loans with you. Call it the transparent mortgage.
NEWS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,Sun Staff Writer | April 6, 1995
The housing industry, rocked in the last several months by a plunge in sales, is finding business by turning to those previously shunned -- consumers with bad credit.Just a year ago, bankruptcies, car repossessions and late or missed payments on other forms of credit were enough to immediately disqualify borrowers from getting a mortgage.But the industry's slowdown over the past year, caused by steady increases in mortgage rates, has prompted mainstream real estate agents and lenders to give a second look at those who before stood almost no chance of owning a home.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2012
Cal Ripken Jr., former Baltimore Oriole and baseball Hall of Famer, has agreed to be the spokesman for mortgage lender NewDay USA LLC, the company announced Tuesday. "In addition to serving as spokesperson for NewDay USA's philanthropic activities, Ripken will headline outreach campaigns in local communities that focus on career development, employee recruitment and NewDay USA University, a state-of-the-art educational initiative designed to prepare current employees and new recruits for successful careers in mortgage banking," the firm said in a statement.
NEWS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2012
The United Steelworkers union warned laid-off Sparrows Point workers Tuesday to brace for an imminent loss of benefits. The steel mill's owner, RG Steel, auctioned off the Baltimore County property last week in a court-ordered bankruptcy sale. Joe Rosel, president of Local 9477 in Sparrows Point, alerted members Tuesday that the company was proposing to stop paying supplemental unemployment benefits and dental, vision and life insurance. It also proposed to stop paying retiree insurance benefits, he said.
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