Posted on February 15, 2008

Now that the Centers for Disease Control has affirmed long-held concerns about fumes in FEMA travel trailers, change could be coming in the Gulf Coast.

The CDC reports that it has completed tests of 519 travel trailers. Their survey found that formaldehyde fumes exceeded normal levels by a factor of five. About five percent of surveyed residents had breathing problems that the CDC attributed to the fumes.

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Posted on February 15, 2008

Resident-owned Communities USA, a new non-profit that will bring the New Hampshire model out to scale across the country, is hiring for two new positions.

These are not entry-level jobs.

ROC is seeking:

1.  A commercial lender with strong community development experience to run ROC USA Capital (a lending facility); and,
2. A national Director of Training & Development for the development of a Network of non-profit Technical Assistance Providers.

The jobs are posted on ROC's web site.

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Posted on February 14, 2008

In its report on fourth quarter results, made on Feb. 12th, Pasadena-based thrift IndyMac canceled its dividend. IndyMac has a had a bad year. Its shares are at $8.20, off their 52 week high of $37.95. It reported a lost of $6.43 a share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007.

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Posted on February 13, 2008

Many mobile home parks in California are managed under rent control. Now, a new voter referendum may mark the beginning of the end for those laws in the Golden State.

Proposition 98 would "prohibit rent control and other similar measures." The proposition will be voted on June 3, 2008.

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Posted on February 11, 2008

Florida's insurance market for manufactured housing is facing some unusual problems.

The insurance problem comes in the wake of 2004's hurricanes. After the claims, there have been subsequent disruptions in the availability of insurance.

One report quotes a New Smyrna Beach, Florida RE/MAX realtor, Nina Schultz, as saying that owners of mobile homes may find themselves essentially left out when they seek insurance for their homes.

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Posted on February 7, 2008
If you are familiar with lending laws, you may have heard of the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act. This bill created a framework for additional regulation of certain loans with onerous terms. The bill is meant to dis-incentivize lenders from making these kind of loans.In many cases, lenders are hesitant to get involved with HOEPA loans. It dries up the flow of capital for some borrowers. That’s
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Posted on February 6, 2008

There is an article in todays WSJ about the lengths that stick-built homebuilders are going to assure nervous homebuyers. KB Home offers "price protection" in 35 markets. Ryland is doing the same when buyers bring it up.

This follows dramatic discounting schemes. Some offer free upgrades (granite countertops, bonus rooms, et al.) Hovnavian even offer discounts of more than $100,000.

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Connecting the Dots: How Wall Street Brings Fringe Lending to Main Street

"I Feel Like I was Set Up to Fail: Inside a For-Profit College Nightmare."

This story was published in Salon Magazine on January 27th, 2014. In March, Senator Richard Durbin cited this story when speaking on behalf of his bill, The Student Loan Borrowers Bill of Rights.

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