Mortgage And Real Estate News

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Revised plans for 572-unit apartment complex advance

The developer of an apartment complex at 74th Street and McDowell Road is moving ahead with a plan for the 572-unit project east of SkySong.

Mark-Taylor Development has revised its plan for the 31-acre site to include a one-block section of Culver Street and a 1.59-acre parcel southeast of 74th and McDowell.

The reconfigured site plan will give Mark-Taylor a significant presence along McDowell, with its main entrance near the middle of the block between 74th and Miller Road, zoning attorney Lynn Lagarde said.

“It makes the project so much better,” she said.

Read more: Revised plans for 572-unit apartment complex advance

Eastmark to get more homes

More developers are signing up for pieces of the former General Motors Desert Proving Ground in southeast Mesa.

Scottsdale-based AV Homes Inc. and JEN Partners LLC of New York City announced Tuesday they have combined to buy 527 acres in the Eastmark property being developed by DMB Associates of Scottsdale.

A new entity called TerraWest Management Co. LLC will coordinate the two developments aimed at very different demographics:

Read more: Eastmark to get more homes

City adds 6,400 acres to preserve

Scottsdale completed a two-decade goal on Wednesday in buying 6,400 acres of state trust land in the far north of the city that will connect the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to the Tonto National Forest.

The city was the lone bidder at $88.2 millionfor three parcels east of the Legend Trail golf community that were auctioned by the Arizona State Land Department.

The link of the preserve's McDowell Mountains and desert terrain to the national forest provides a wildlife corridor and supports the natural cycle of plants propagating across the public lands.

Read more: City adds 6,400 acres to preserve

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Paradise Valley resort plan to cut debt is filed

The owner of the troubled Mountain Shadows resort in Paradise Valley has submitted a reorganization plan in Bankruptcy Court that it says will help it come out of bankruptcy and develop the long-shuttered property.  Read more:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Reagor: $883 mil in aid for Arizonans

More than $880 million so far has been committed to helping Arizona consumers through the National Mortgage Settlement, according to the nation's top five lenders.

The latest report on the settlement, issued this week, is based on information from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, CitiBank and GMAC/Ally. The data shows most of the aid so far, about $762 million, is coming from short sales approved by the lenders.

Another $61 million has been set aside or spent to help underwater borrowers refinance. About $60 million has gone toward modifying Arizona borrowers' primary mortgages. The lenders collectively report helping more than 13,000 of the state's consumers.

Read more: Reagor: $883 mil in aid for Arizonans

Economist: Local recovery ‘mediocre,’ another 2 years away

Arizona can expect a tepid economic recovery next year with an improving housing market but don’t expect a robust economy until 2015.

That’s the view of local economist Elliott Pollack, who spoke last week at an economic-forecast event presented by the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business in downtown Scottsdale.

“It’s a mediocre recovery,” Pollack said. “It’s been bad for so long that it will seem better than it is.”

Pollack, one of the featured speakers, was upbeat about declines in distressed-housing inventory and foreclosure notices as the market stabilizes. But he warned that the recovery could be derailed by some local and national issues that are already creating uncertainty.

Nationally, the so-called fiscal cliff is poised to push the country back into recession by the second quarter of 2013 if Congress doesn’t act, Pollack said.

Major tax cuts are scheduled to end at the start of next year along with deep cuts in federal spending for defense and other programs.

Pollack, who admitted he was a cranky after returning from an overseas trip, is skeptical of what will happen in Washington because he said there is “no leadership in the White House or Congress.”

“If anyone tells you we don’t need spending cuts and tax hikes they’re a (expletive) moron,” said Pollack, apologizing for his profanity. “We have to have tax increases.”

Demand high for home lots

Locally, home builders are ramping up to meet demand for new homes but there is a scarcity of developed lots and available land for new communities.

“We will run out of lots in 2014 and then you’re done building,” he said.

That shortage has been good for him. Pollack said he bought land in greater Phoenix in 2008-09 when prices plummeted and is selling it back now.

Earlier, land broker Nate Nathan said land sales have been brisk. By the end of the year, land transactions will be completed on 110,000 residential lots in Maricopa and Pinal counties, Nathan said.

Longer term, Pollack said the Phoenix area will add 1 million people and 200,000 homes within the next eight-to-10 years.

Baby Boomers have delayed their retirement but many of them eventually will retire in the Valley, he said.

Pollack said much of the growth will be in outlying areas because there is not enough infill land to meet the demand for housing.

He also dismissed speculation that the Valley will run out of water.

“There is not now, nor will there ever be, a water shortage,” said Pollack, adding that increasing water rates would reduce use and extend the supply.

Investors bullish on market

Pollack told the group of real estate professionals that investor groups from Wall Street are continuing to buy up big blocks of single-family houses in the Valley.

That has created fear that local prices will fall if real estate investment trusts sell thousands of homes at the same time.

But adding 2,000 homes to the available listing would not have a huge impact in a housing market with about 1.2 million homes, Pollack said.

“I still think it’s a good time to buy single-family houses,” he said.

It is encouraging that more than half the monthly home sales are traditional deals, not short sales, foreclosures or investor flips, Pollack said.

During the recession, traditional sales dipped as low as 24 percent, he said.

“Essentially we’re working our way through the problem,” Pollack said. “The lights are getting brighter.

The economic forecast included moderators Bill Gray and Fletcher Wilcox, and panelists Sal DiCicio, Scott Golba, Tom Noble, Bill Rodgers, Gerrick Taylor, Keith Watkins and Nate Nathan. Wayne Stutzer of RBC Wealth Management was the other featured speaker.

By Peter Corbett The Republic | Tue Nov 20, 2012

Economist: Local recovery ‘mediocre,’ another 2 years away

Beach-club area construction creates some waves

Nearly an entire block in downtown Scottsdale’s entertainment district is teeming with construction as developer Shawn Yari’s beach club-anchored entertainment complex quickly takes shape.

However, revelers will have to wait several months until the first bars open, and the beach club itself won’t be opening until next summer.

As of now, the complex, being developed by Triyar Entertainment, owned by Yari, will include the indoor-outdoor beach club in the center and three restaurant-bars along the eastern side.

The complex will encompass most of the block that housed Myst nightclub on Shoeman Lane, and Suede restaurant and bar on Indian Plaza, just south of Axis/Radius. The area is in the city’s entertainment district south of Camelback Road and east of Scottsdale Road.

Read more: Beach-club area construction creates some waves

U.S. banks cut mortgages by $6.3B in homeowner settlement | The Tennessean |

Less than a year after a landmark foreclosure abuse settlement, five of the nation’s biggest banks have cut struggling homeowner’s mortgages by $6.3 billion, part of a total $26.1 billion in home loan relief the banks agreed to provide.

In Tennessee, roughly $85 million worth of relief has been provided for 2,134 borrowers between March 1 and Sept. 30, according to a report issued Monday by Joseph Smith, monitor of the settlement. Additionally, $51 million in loan modification trials are in progress.

More than $37 million in local relief came in the form of short sales, in which lenders agree to accept less than what the seller owes on the mortgage. About $18 million was provided through refinancing loans.

Read more: U.S. banks cut mortgages by $6.3B in homeowner settlement | The Tennessean |

Harassing calls can be reported

Question: I’ve been registered on the Do Not Call list for years but still get repeated telemarketing calls every month — many from the same companies. When I try to have my number deleted by pressing a suggested button, I only get more calls. Where can I report this harassment?

—Nancy Halvorson,


Answer: I get this question often, and my answer always disappoints readers.

The Do Not Call Registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission. If you’re receiving harassing calls from telemarketers, you can file a complaint with the FTC at The FTC says it will investigate these complaints and punish offenders. Until they’re caught, some disreputable companies will continue to ring your phone off the hook. But the truth is: They may never be caught.

Don’t bother filing complaints against charities, political groups, pollsters and companies conducting surveys. These groups are exempt from the registry and can call you as much as they choose.

By Dave Cherry 12 News Mon Nov 19, 2012

Harassing calls can be reported

$150,000 grant from bank to help first-time homebuyers in Chandler

The partnership between Chandler and the Newtown Community Development Corp., in working to put first-time homebuyers into empty houses, got a boost recently.

Newtown, the Tempe-based non-profit organization that administers much of Chandler’s neighborhood stabilization efforts, received a $150,000 Priority Markets Grant Friday from Wells Fargo bank. The money will be used to bolster the down-payment assistance program for first-time buyers and help set up a rotating loan fund for repairs to existing homes in the program.

Newtown Executive Director Allen Carlson said $100,000 of the money would be combined with $200,000 in existing funds for down-payment assistance. The remaining $50,000 from the grant would start the loan fund.

Read more: $150,000 grant from bank to help first-time homebuyers in Chandler

Habitat for Humanity working on 8 Peoria homes

In a few months, Michel’le Dinkins will move into her first home — one she has helped construct, nail by nail.

The 22-year-old single mom, a part-time student and full-time St. Mary’s Food Bank employee, will get the key in February to one of eight Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona projects under way in Peoria.

The faith-based non-profit builds and renovates homes and sells them to low-income families at affordable prices with no-interest mortgages. The organization owns three vacant lots in Peoria not yet under construction and has built a new home and renovated seven others this year.

Read more: Habitat for Humanity working on 8 Peoria homes

Sale of Frank Lloyd Wright -designed Arizona home falls through

PHOENIX - A sale of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home that had been slated for demolition has fallen through and the home once again will go on the market, a real estate broker marketing the property said Monday.

The buyer, who has not been identified, decided during an inspection period to not proceed with the purchase because of unspecified personal and business reasons, said Robert Joffe. "I don't think I'm ever going to know the truth."

The home will again be listed for sale for $2,379,000, the price on which the now-canceled agreement was based, Joffe said.

However, he said the window to sell the home runs only until Dec. 4 because the Phoenix city council plans on Dec. 5 to consider approving an historic designation for the property.

Read more: Sale of Frank Lloyd Wright -designed Arizona home falls through

Construction begins on $17 mil senior complex in Mesa

The first major private investment in downtown Mesa in Councilman Chris Glover’s lifetime is off and running.

Glover, 25, who represents downtown Mesa, helped break ground this week on a $17 million, 81-unit senior-housing complex southwest of the Mesa Arts Center.

For the past quarter-century, all the big-money projects in downtown Mesa, most notably the nearly $100 million Mesa Arts Center, have been government-funded.

Encore on First Avenue is one of three subsidized housing projects approved in Mesa this year; the others are the redevelopment of the Escobedo Apartments and a major overhaul of the La Mesita Family Shelter.

Read more: Construction begins on $17 mil senior complex in Mesa

Tanger to bring 85 new stores to Westgate in Glendale

Something always seemed to be missing at Westgate City Center, Glendale’s signature entertainment and shopping district: critical mass.

The crowds from nearby sports venues and a movie theater were sporadic, not reliable enough to fill Westgate’s restaurants, bars and concert events on a regular basis.

That could all change Thursday, when Tanger Outlets Westgate opens nearly 85 stores. The mall will be a critical third anchor, along with Arena and University of Phoenix Stadium, for the Westgate complex. Up to 5 million shoppers will go to Tanger each year, according to the mall owner’s projections.

Tanger is the tipping point, say executives with a stake in the 6-year-old Westgate. A company called iStar Financial Inc. took over a year ago.

Read more: Tanger to bring 85 new stores to Westgate in Glendale

A reverse mortgage can add up

Question: My wife and I are in our 60s, our house is paid off and we have no plans to move. What do you think about a reverse mortgage?

—Dave Cole,


Answer: Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners age 62 and older. The mortgage relationship is reversed; the mortgage company pays you every month and then gets its principal plus interest back when your heirs sell the house. You are essentially drawing on your home’s equity while still living in it.

Typically, the loan doesn’t need to be repaid until after your death. If the house sells for more than the loan balance, your heirs keep the difference.

Reverse mortgages are expensive. You pay a loan origination fee, closing costs and insurance. If you fail to maintain your property and pay homeowner’s insurance and taxes, you risk foreclosure.

Consumer Reports estimates that 54,000 reverse mortgages are in default, mostly due to homeowners’ inability to pay taxes and insurance. Before you call any lender, talk with a counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s free, and counseling is required by law to get these loans.

The counselor can help you figure out if you qualify and if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

By Dave Cherry Calll 12 for Action Mon Nov 12, 2012 A reverse mortgage can add up

Group will build houses in Valley for injured vets

For Mike and Cheryl Leonard, Peoria represents a new chapter -- a fresh start after a roadside-bomb explosion in Afghanistan turned their lives upside down.

Mike Leonard, a first sergeant in the U.S. Army, was riding in a medical vehicle two years ago when an explosion knocked him unconscious.

"I just remember telling my senior medic, 'Just get everybody out. Get everybody out,' " the 41-year-old said.

Read more: Group will build houses in Valley for injured vets

Real estate exec sees commercial looking up

Housing gets most of the attention in metro Phoenix because of the past year’s rise in home prices, but the commercial real-estate market may be on the upswing as well.

Commercial market veteran Pete Bolton, executive vice president and managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in Phoenix, offers current views on the office, industrial and retail market.

Question: Summarize how the Phoenix commercial real-estate market is faring and how Wall Street and other investors are affecting it.

Answer: The Phoenix-area commercial market is moving along — finally — at a modest pace. The good news is that activity levels, as far as tenants are concerned, have definitely increased over the past 18 months. Expansions are starting to occur, again at a very modest pace. Corporate America is not confident enough overall to start making the moves it needs to make to improve our market substantially. As far as Wall Street is concerned, the effect of their perception is that stocks for companies in the commercial real-estate sector have remained well below where they were in 2007-08. There are hundreds of billions of dollars sitting on the sidelines waiting to invest in commercial real estate. I would put Phoenix in the middle of the country as far as recovery — we certainly aren’t at the bottom; we are halfway through the recovery process.

Q. What’s going on in the office market? What kind of tenants are looking for space now?

A. Most of the new space/expansion space is coming from a very patient corporate America that is taking a flier on the fact that, after five years in a commercial real-estate hole, it’s got to get better. They have to make a commitment to office space somewhere, sometime. We actually have submarkets in the Valley that have 5 percent vacancies, but then on the other hand, we have a few that are between 20 to 25 percent vacant.

Q. Phoenix’s calling card to many companies is its warehouse market. There’s some speculative building under way. What does that mean for the industrial market?

A. Warehouse/distribution space has been filling quite nicely during 2012. The big-box distribution space of 150,000 feet or more is not available today. There are a few speculative buildings under way in this category, but it has taken well over a year to get financing, permits, etc., to build these big distribution centers. They will fill as soon as they are near completion. As far as the building you see around town, most of it is build-to-suit activity for tenants either coming into town or needing to expand to larger facilities. Industrial space overall has a 12 percent vacancy — we like to see it around 10 percent for it to be a healthy market.

Q. Rooftops are selling, and new-home building is up last year. What’s happening with retail?

A. Retail is definitely responding to an anticipation of a better world/U.S./Phoenix market. At the peak, we saw a 13 percent vacancy, but it has decreased to 11.8 percent. Retail strip centers are doing the best at this time — pad sales are picking up and activity has definitely increased. These are all good signs of a recovering market. I believe the home-building excitement plays a part in this. Alternative uses for larger spaces continue to be an interesting part of retail absorption. As the small spaces absorb, tenants will start to gravitate towards these larger centers. Then everyone, landlords and tenants, will be feeling better.

Q. What is the forecast for the commercial market for next year?

A. If you were to take a poll of the commercial brokerage community, it would certainly tell you that on the whole, things are getting a lot better than they have been over the past four years. This has been a tough go for commercial real estate in all sectors, with a possible exception of multifamily investment sales during the second half of 2011 and to date in 2012. Our forecast is that we see an increase in activity continuing throughout office, industrial and retail sectors in 2013 and beyond. So 2013, 2014 and 2015 will be good years for commercial real estate. And it’s about time.

By Catherine Reagor The Republic Fri Nov 9, 2012 Real estate exec sees commercial looking up

Capital-improvement projects on the rise

For the first time in at least three years, Paradise Valley is seeing a substantial increase in capital-improvement projects, returning activity to pre-recession numbers.

At least five projects are included in the 2012-13 budget.

Town Manager Jim Bacon says this will bring more construction to the town streets, which in the long run, fares well for everybody.

Because a very difficult economy is getting better, capital budgets are returning, he said.

“We’re trying to re-establish capital projects as a part of what we do,” Bacon said. “Street systems, sidewalks, drainage — these are things people don’t really think about a whole lot, but they’re just-as-important services that government provides as public safety.”

The town has invested in capital improvements this year at a level comparable to before the economic downturn.

Read more: Capital-improvement projects on the rise

Developer’s plans may clash with Borgata shopkeepers’

A homebuilder has plans to redevelop the Borgata of Scottsdale, but merchants at the faux-Italian village say they are open for business and aren’t closing their doors anytime soon.

Femme de Paris owner Cindy Carias said she and a few other tenants have leases through December 2014 and plan to stay until then.

“The new owners have a long way to go to get permits to bulldoze this place down,” Carias said. “I want people to know we’re still here.”

The shopping center northwest of Scottsdale Road and McDonald Drive has been in flux since AV Homes Inc. bought the 90,000-square-foot property in September for $12.8 million.

The Scottsdale builder submitted preliminary plans to Scottsdale this week to build 250 condos in buildings of up to four stories, said Ken Plonski, AV Homes vice president of communications.

Read more: Developer’s plans may clash with Borgata shopkeepers’

New Chandler high-end townhouses called key for downtown growth

After wrapping the residential phase of a roughly $50 million project designed to bring vibrancy and customers downtown, developers and Chandler are moving on to the plan’s commercial elements.

Desert Viking Properties broke ground on Villas & Shops at San Marcos Commons before the recession hit, ultimately riding out the economic downturn to build 79 high-end townhouses at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard. All but seven have been sold.

Chandler believes the complex, along with a nearby townhouse community built by Tempe-based Benton-Robb Development Associates, marks a significant step in the city’s effort to create a consistently active downtown. The city's South Arizona Avenue Entry Corridor Study calls for 1,800 residential units between Boston Street and Pecos Road.

Read more: New Chandler high-end townhouses called key for downtown growth

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Realty Times - 2012 Homebuyer Survey Contains Valuable Information

One of the most useful research projects of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is the annual survey of homebuyers and sellers. The most recent version (Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2012) became available in November of this year. The information is based on answers to a 120-question survey mailed to a random sample of 93,502 consumers who purchased a home between July 2011 and June 2012. (Names and addresses were provided by Experian, a company that maintains an extensive database of recent homebuyers that is derived from county records.) After accounting for undeliverable surveys, there was a 9.1 percent response rate.

Read more: Realty Times - 2012 Homebuyer Survey Contains Valuable Information

Monday, November 19, 2012

BiPS rise up | HousingWire

On Aug. 31, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, steward of the largest mortgage financiers in the U.S., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said it would raise the guarantee fees each entity charges lenders by 10 basis points to securitize loans and insure the timely interest and principal payments for investors. The plan to do so was announced earlier in the year in order to encourage private capital back into the market.  Read more:

GSE Announces Winter Bonus for Agents Who Sell HomeSteps Homes

Agents who sell HomeSteps homes, or Freddie Mac-owned residences, are eligible for winter bonuses.  Read more:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Chandler’s Price Corridor a mecca for new offices

There’s an adage in real estate that the three most important factors are location, location and location.

When it comes to new office space in the Valley, it seems Chandler’s Price Road Corridor is the hot location.

In August, San Diego-based developer Douglas Allred Company broke ground on a 68,867-square-foot, two-story office building, the fifth on the campus on the northeastern corner of Price and Willis roads. It is only the second speculative office building, built before a tenant has been secured, in the Valley this year.

The other is a 92,000-square-foot Allred building next door that is also part of Allred Park Place.

They are the first built in the Valley in four years.

Read more: Chandler’s Price Corridor a mecca for new offices

Scottsdale and Phoenix Luxury Condo Sales – 2012 Performance - AZ Voices Real Estate

Here is an overview of luxury condo sales in Scottsdale and Phoenix through the third quarter of 2012. I define luxury condos as those units with asking prices above $1 million.

Read more: Scottsdale and Phoenix Luxury Condo Sales – 2012 Performance - AZ Voices Real Estate

Are we better off now? Depends

It was one of Ronald Reagan's defining moments in the 1980 presidential-election campaign, when he looked into the camera during a debate with then-President Jimmy Carter and prodded voters to ask themselves, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

Ever since then, the question has surfaced regularly during presidential campaigns, with the answers representing one succinct way to measure each incumbent's track record in office.

The question remains relevant as Americans again flock to polling booths. But it's not a perfect catchall. A number of economists noted that in the fall of 2008, the economy was just beginning to plunge because of a worldwide financial crisis. Four years later, it's slowly recovering.

Read more: Are we better off now? Depends

Peoria City Council approves spring training clubhouse work

The Peoria City Council this week approved a $26.4 million construction contract for upgrades to the city’s spring-training complex and outlined more specifics on other improvements in the 83rd Avenue area.

Mortenson Construction will handle the improvements and expansion of clubhouses for the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. Work should begin shortly after spring training ends in March and be completed by the start of the season in 2014.

The new clubhouses come as part of the city’s recent 20-year agreement to keep the teams training in Peoria. The Peoria Sports Complex, near 83rd Avenue and Paradise Lane, was the first spring-training stadium nationwide to host dual teams, which has become standard in the Cactus League.

The council also approved basic details of its partnership with a private developer to create a high-endretail and entertainment district near the facility.

Read more: Peoria City Council approves spring training clubhouse work

Low-income lofts open in downtown

A new property designed to accommodate low-income adults who are either disabled or older than 54 opened in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt neighborhood Wednesday.

The Lofts at McKinley, on the northeastern corner of Fifth Avenue and McKinley Street, requires that its residents’ income is between $18,680 and $28,020 per year.

Phoenix officials say the developers built the 60-unit complex on the site of a vacant two-story office building that had become obsolete.

Read more: Low-income lofts open in downtown

Answers to market questions

Metro Phoenix housing analyst Mike Orr participated in a live chat on this week about the state of the residential market.

Orr, publisher of the Cromford Report and director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business, shared his views on prices, sales, appraisers and mortgages.

Here are some excerpts from his online conversation with readers:

Read more: Answers to market questions

New floor plans, lower prices help revive stalled community

Standard Pacific Homes has revived a stalled community north of Reata Pass and is selling single-level homes ranging in price from $525,000 to $610,000.

Quisana at Troon North includes 21 lots east of 110th Place and Alma School Parkway. Three floor plans are available of 2,521 to 3,292 square feet.

Read more: New floor plans, lower prices help revive stalled community

Thursday, November 8, 2012

LifeLock posts first earnings as public company

Tempe-based identity-theft monitoring firm LifeLock Inc. on Wednesday reported its first quarterly financial results as a public company following the firm's initial public offering in October.

LifeLock reported quarterly revenue of $72.1 million for the third quarter, a 44 percent increase from revenue of $50 million for the third quarter of 2011.

The company's net income for the quarter was $7.9 million, compared with a net loss of $500,000 for the third quarter of 2011, the company reported.

Read more: LifeLock posts first earnings as public company

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Paradise Valley may realign 56th Street for resort revamp

Paradise Valley officials say realigning 56th Street may allow for Crown Realty & Development to revitalize the Mountain Shadows Golf Resort in a way that will calm height and density concerns voiced by neighbors and elected leaders.  Read more:

Wright house fix-up cost may top $300,000

Now that a buyer has come forward with intentions to preserve a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in east Phoenix, it appears the landmark has escaped demolition and will be saved. 

Read more:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Special Series: Industry Weighs in on the Shadow Inventory Debate

After raising the question of how the election might impact the housing market's shadow inventory, it was obvious to see we had touched on a key issue near and dear to many voters' hearts, minds, and wallets. Responses to the initial installment of our special election series poured in, and while we can only share some of the reactions here, we'd like to thank all of you who took the time to put your perspectives into words and join in the conversation.  Read more:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Forget BofA. Check out the online bank BofI

Bank of Internet's CEO Gregory Garrabrants told an audience at an investing conference in San Diego last week that his bank, with roughly $2.4 billion in assets, can compete with its larger rivals because it's not weighed down.....Read more:

CFPB Takes on Debt Collectors With New Oversight

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it would begin regulating debt collection companies starting at the beginning of 2013. "We now find that debt collection is a central issue of our times," director Richard Cordray said.  Read more:

Banks to waive fees for customers in storm-hit areas | Fox News

Banks have temporarily waived a variety of fees and late charges for residents of states hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. It's an effort to ease pressure on customers to make bill payments when many remain without power.  Read more:

Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home sold

An anonymous buyer has purchased a Phoenix home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright with the aim of preserving an architectural gem that, until last week, was threatened with demolition.  Read more:

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