WASHINGTON – One wag has called it the “teaser freezer.” But whatever the name, it is going to mean relief for thousands of homeowners facing a painful jump in their mortgage rates in coming months. Thanks to a deal hammered out by the Bush administration, the mortgage industry has agreed to freeze rates on a portion of the 2 million subprime mortgages that were scheduled to reset to higher rates over the next two years. To qualify for the relief, according to congressional and industry officials who have seen the plan, the homeowner must be current on payments under the introductory rates. The freeze will last for five years, said officials. The expectation is that as home sales and prices rise again, homeowners will be able to renegotiate their adjustable rate into a more affordable fixed-rate plan. Officials said the rate freeze will apply to loans made at the start of 2005 through July 30 of this year and will cover loans that had been scheduled to rise to higher rates between Jan. 1, 2008, and July 31, 2010. The administration said President Bush will speak on the agreement today followed by a news conference featuring Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson and leading executives of the mortgage industry. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsPaulson, who has been spearheading the effort to craft a plan, said on Monday that the program would be available only for owner-occupied homes – to ensure the break is not given to real estate speculators. The plan emerged from talks between Paulson and other banking regulators and banks, mortgage investors and consumer groups trying to address an avalanche of feared foreclosures as an estimated 2 million subprime mortgages reset from lower introductory “teaser” rates to higher rates. In many cases, the higher rates will boost monthly payments by as much as 30 percent, making it very difficult for many people to keep current with their loans. The plan is aimed at homeowners who are making payments on time at lower introductory mortgage rates but cannot afford a higher adjusted rate. Through October, there were about 1.8 million foreclosure filings nationwide, compared with about 1.3 million in all of 2006, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc. With home loan defaults still rising, the trend is expected to worsen next year. The plan represents an about-face for Paulson, who until recently had insisted the mortgage crisis could be handled on a case-by-case basis. However, he and other administration officials became convinced the tide of foreclosures threatened by the mortgage resets represented such a severe threat that a more sweeping approach was needed. Paulson and other federal regulators began holding talks with some of the country’s biggest mortgage lenders, mortgage service companies, investors who hold mortgage-backed securities and nonprofit groups that provide counseling for at-risk homeowners. Under the typical subprime loan – those offered to borrowers with spotty credit histories – the rates for the first two years were at levels around 7 percent to 9percent. But after two years, those rates were scheduled to reset to levels around 9 percent to 11 percent. For a typical $1,200 monthly mortgage payment, the reset could add another $350 to the monthly payment, greatly raising the risks of loan defaults by homeowners struggling with the current payment. The wave of mortgage foreclosures threatened to make the most severe slump in housing even worse by dumping more foreclosed properties onto an already glutted market, further depressing home prices and shaking consumer confidence. The deepening housing slump has already roiled financial markets, starting in August, as investors grew increasingly concerned about billions of dollars of losses being suffered by banks, hedge funds and other investors. In California, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a similar deal two weeks ago, the plan was met with skepticism. “What we need in bold action and we are not getting it from President Bush,” said Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, who chairs the Assembly Banking Committee. Lieu argued that the proposal would help only a fraction of those homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Staff writer Gene Maddaus contributed to this article.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! read more
Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium Manchester City are reportedly keen on signing 15-year-old goalkeeper Berk Ozer.The teenager is currently on the books of Altinordu, who play in the second tier of Turkish football.Ozer is also being scouted by heavyweight clubs, in his homeland, including Galatasaray and Besiktas but, according to Fanatik, City are making progress in their bid to bring the youngster to England to continue his development.While City remain focused on rebuilding a squad to win the Premier League and Champions League under Pep Guardiola next season, strengthening the club’s academy with foreign talent is also a major objective.City scouts reportedly see Ozer as a potential long-term replacement for Joe Hart and the club will step up negotiations with Altinordu as they hope to bring him to the Etihad academy in time for next season. 1 read more
APTN NewsFamilies of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls will have a say on designing a national police task force, something the national inquiry called on the Trudeau government to develop Wednesday.The recommendation was part of the interim report released by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women.“It’s a recommendation that we are proposing or demanding here in this report but … the families and survivors have a say on how and who should be sitting on that task force,” said Commissioner Michele Audette.That includes having Indigenous officers on the task force.The task force would have the ability to reopen or review cold cases if the Trudeau government agrees to it.“They have questions and they desperately want answers about what happened to their lost loved ones, why investigations were stopped, why leads weren’t followed up on,” said Chief Commissioner Marion Buller.“It’s vital for their healing that they do find out.”The inquiry’s mandate doesn’t allow it to reopen cases, only refer new evidence back to police for possible investigation.“This is a problem we have been facing form the very beginning,” said Buller. “Families who are living with questions for generations they don’t fall neatly into that little box, so what we need to do is provide them with an opportunity or a venue to get the answers.”She said the inquiry has already been told of possible new evidence during hearings with families across the country. They expect to hand that over to police soon, said Buller.The inquiry is also asking the federal government for more time to complete its work as it is scheduled to wrap up next year within its current two-year mandate.They also need more money.But Buller stopped short of saying how much more time and money is needed.She did say the inquiry has spent or allocated about a third of its current budget of $53.8 million.She referred to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission having five years to look into the damage caused by Indian Residential Schools, where children were taken from their families and placed in church-run and state-funded schools for over 100 years. The last one closed in 1994.“That was a problem that was historical. Our problems that we’re looking at, or issues, are historical and ongoing,” said Buller.“Today, as we’re here in this women Indigenous women and girls are suffering violence that somehow has become normalized. That is a national tragedy.”She said it comes down to how long it’s going to take to do the inquiry right.So far, 900 people have added their names to the list to be witnesses at a hearing, including 100 just last month.“As we are gaining momentum we are gaining numbers of people who want to talk to us,” said Buller.Contact APTN National News here: firstname.lastname@example.org read more
Russian satellite operator RSCC has chosen conditional access provider Irdeto to secure the content of the commercial TV channels distributed via RSCC satellites.“The most advanced information security technologies comprise the basis for protecting investments in mass media, said Sergey Plotnikov, director of the infocommunication technologies and multimedia services department, RSCC. “An important aspect of the RSCC business strategy is to improve the quality of our services, and I believe this will give us a competitive advantage in today’s market. It is also very important for us to treat with utmost attention such aspects as backup and redundancy of technical means and information security. The implementation of Irdeto’s conditional access solutions for RSCC’s TV platform allows us to significantly improve our services, and guarantees RSCC the highest level of content protection.” read more
The number of subscribers of bundled services in Portugal reached three million at the en d of March, up 2.6% quarter-on-quarter and 12% year-on-year, according to figures compiled by the country’s communications regulator.According to Anacom, 44.4% of bundled subscribers take a triple-play offering, while some 35.7% take five services from the same provider.Revenues from bundled services reached €360 million in the first quarter, according to Anacom, up 34% on the same period a year earlier. Average monthly bills for multiple service households was €52.15.Meo has the highest share of the multi-play market, with a 43.7% share, followed by Nos with 38.5%, Vodafone with 10.9% and Altice/Cabovisão with 6.9%.
26 May 2020
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