12-01-2021  10:25 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

City’s Budget Windfall Means More for Police, Despite NAACP Demands

Group calls out lack of engagement from City Hall.

Oregon Resists Dropping Controversial Investments

Oregon residents are increasingly pushing for the state to divest from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments, but the state treasury is resisting and putting the onus on the Legislature.

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Shop Local and Earn Free Parking With Parking Kitty

Find the purrfect gift for your loved ones by supporting small businesses and shopping local this holiday season, thanks to the...

Heat, no food, deadly weather: Climate change kills seabirds

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The warming of the planet is taking a deadly toll on seabirds that are suffering population declines from starvation, inability to reproduce, heat waves and extreme weather. Climate-related losses have hit albatrosses off the Hawaiian islands, northern...

Dozens of Oregon workers fired for not getting COVID shot

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials in Oregon say at least 99 state workers have been fired for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. KOIN reports the figures from the Department of Administrative Services show that out of more than 40,000 state workers, 84.7% received the...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Biden HIV/AIDS strategy calls racism 'public health threat'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration in its new HIV/AIDS strategy calls racism “a public health threat” that must be fully recognized as the world looks to end the epidemic. The strategy released Wednesday on the annual commemoration of World AIDS Day is meant to...

Death of bullied Utah girl draws anger over suicides, racism

DRAPER, Utah (AP) — When her 10-year-old daughter tried spraying air freshener on herself before school one morning, Brittany Tichenor-Cox suspected something was wrong with the sweet little girl whose beaming smile had gone dormant after she started the fifth grade. She...

Editorial Roundup: U.S.

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: Nov. 30 The Wall Street Journal on U.S. Supreme Court at abortion crossroads: The Supreme Court takes up its most important abortion case in years on Wednesday, and the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Weather vanes: Exhibit looks at artworks with a purpose

Perched atop churches, barns, businesses, homes and seats of government, weather vanes have over hundreds of years taken the form of everything from farm animals to pets, storybook figures to race cars. They were invented for one important job: telling which way the wind was...

Q&A: Mel Brooks, 95, is still riffing

NEW YORK (AP) — Leave it to Mel Brooks to blurb his own memoir. There, along with laudatory quotes from Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Conan O'Brien and others is one from “M. Brooks," who hails “All About Me!” as: "Not since the Bible have I read anything so powerful and...

Louis Vuitton show pays tribute to designer Virgil Abloh

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Louis Vuitton's first ever U.S. fashion show turned into a somber yet whimsical tribute to groundbreaking designer Virgil Abloh days after his death. The Miami menswear event, an unofficial kickoff to the prestigious Art Basel fair, had been in the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Jan. 6 panel to vote on contempt against former DOJ official

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection will vote on pursuing...

Explosion of WWII bomb in Munich injures 4, disrupts trains

BERLIN (AP) — A World War II bomb exploded at a construction site next to a busy railway line in Munich on...

Putin demands NATO guarantees not to expand eastward

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow would seek Western guarantees precluding any...

Official: Blinken, Russian FM to meet amid Ukraine tensions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet separately with his Russian and Ukrainian...

German court OKs ban on Cyprus-based porn sites

BERLIN (AP) — A court has ruled that German authorities are justified in banning three pornographic websites...

EU chief calls for debate on making COVID-19 jabs mandatory

BRUSSELS (AP) — The chief of the European Union's executive arm said Wednesday that EU nations should consider...

Les Christie CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The nation's five largest banks have provided nearly $10.6 billion in mortgage relief to homeowners under a settlement that was struck with the states and federal government earlier this year, according to a preliminary progress report.

The report was issued by the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, which is monitoring the $25 billion settlement. In total, the five banks -- Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Ally Financial -- have helped some 138,000 homeowners and have offered relief averaging $76,615 per borrower between March 1 and June 30, the office reported.

Nearly half of the total, $4.9 billion, comes from Bank of America. Ally Financial, the smallest of the lenders, has submitted just over $500 million in claims.

The settlement was meant to atone for foreclosure processing abuses dating back to 2008. Under the deal, which was approved by a federal judge in April, the banks get credit for helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, by doing such things as reducing the principal on loans and refinancing mortgages to lower interest rates.

So far, though, most of the credits banks have received for relief efforts -- 80% -- have been for debt forgiveness for deed in lieu of foreclosure or short sales. In a deed in lieu, homeowners hand over ownership of their home to the bank in exchange for debt forgiveness. In a short sale, homeowners sell their home at a price that is less than what they owe the bank and the bank agrees to absorb the loss.

In both cases, homeowners ends up losing their home. Not only that, but the hit on their credit score makes it harder to secure a mortgage in the future.

Of the $10.6 billion in relief lenders have given to homeowners under the deal, $8.6 billion has gone toward short sales and deed-in-lieu of foreclosures, according to the report. Bank of America provided some $4.8 billion in relief through this method, the most of any lender, while Chase came in second with $2.4 billion.

"Short sales are quick and dirty [modifications]," said Geoff Greenwood, communications director for the Iowa attorney general's office. "That's why you're seeing more of them coming out of the chute."

But there is a cap on how much lenders can claim for short sales under the settlement deal, explained Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Once banks reach their limits, they won't be able to claim anything more under the settlement.

Conspicuously lacking so far is anywhere near the $17 billion in principal reduction that lenders have promised under the deal. Lenders had said they would reduce the balance owed on mortgages for those who either owed far more on their homes than they were worth or who were behind on payments. The aim was to get the mortgage balance closer to the home's value, reduce the borrower's monthly payments and help them avoid foreclosure.

However, only some $1 billion in principal reductions have occurred thus far, according to the report. Just 7,093 borrowers had their principal forgiven on their first mortgages -- for a total of $749 million. The remainder was on second mortgages.

Of the five lenders, Chase had completed the most modifications on first mortgages, $376 million worth. In contrast, Bank of America submitted no modification claims on first mortgages between March and June. However, it has started nearly $2 billion trial modifications that were moving through the trial process, more than any other bank. In second place for trial mods was Chase with $1.2 billion that were offered or approved.

Those numbers should increase dramatically, however, since many modifications have yet to be counted. Donovan said they structured the settlement to require borrowers to keep up payments during a 90-day trial period before they're considered successful modifications. At that point, the monitor will credit the cost of the modification to the bank's account.

Currently, more than 28,000 trial modifications of all types are in progress, said Donovan. He said an additional $3 billion worth of modifications should be included in the first official report to be released in November.

"The banks are heading in the right direction," said Donovan. "This will deliver real relief to consumers."

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