08-13-2022  2:46 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true? 

Court Sides With Governor Kate Brown Over Early Prison Releases

Two attorneys took particular issue with Brown’s decision to allow 73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 to apply for early release.

Ballot Measure to Overhaul City Government Promises Minority Representation While Facing Controversy

The Portland Charter Commission aims to bring city in line with how other major U.S. cities do local governance. 

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Hospital to Refuse Some Patients Due to Capacity

The hospital is caring for some 560 inpatients, more than 130% of its licensed capacity of 413 patients. ...

West Seattle Bridge to Reopen After Yearslong Closure

The 40-year-old bridge is among the city’s most important, previously allowing 100,000 drivers and 20,000 transit users to move...

Jefferson Alumni Invites Community to Block Party

This inaugural event is open to the public and will have tons of entertainment in tow, including a live DJ and music, a rib contest,...

Oregon Approved to Issue an Additional $46 Million in Pandemic EBT Food Assistance to 80,000 Young Children

The additional food benefits will be issued to families’ existing EBT cards in Fall 2022, with the exact dates yet to be...

Free Vaccination Events Provide Required Back-to-School Immunizations

On or before the first day of instruction, all K-12 students in Washington state must be up to date on vaccinations required for...

Idaho Supreme Court won't block strict abortion bans

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's strict abortion bans will be allowed to take effect while legal challenges over the laws play out in court, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled Friday. The ruling means potential relatives of an embryo or fetus can now sue abortion providers over procedures...

Inslee issues directive outlining monkeypox virus response

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a directive to the Washington State Department of Health outlining additional steps to address the rise in monkeypox cases. In his Friday directive to state health officials, Inslee called the disease an “evolving...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Kansas district rejects strategic plan urging diversity

DERBY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas school district's board rejected a proposed strategic plan after some members questioned its emphasis on diversity and students' mental health. The Derby Board of Education voted 4-3 this week to reject a plan presented after months of work by parents,...

Two years on, foundations stand by issuing bonds in pandemic

NEW YORK (AP) — When the Ford Foundation took the unprecedented step in June 2020 of issuing jumi billion in debt to help stabilize other nonprofits, it delighted investors and inspired several other large foundations to follow suit. Two years later, the foundations all stand by...

Cuomo: Taxpayers should pay sexual harassment legal bills

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants taxpayers to foot his legal bills as he defends himself against a workplace sexual harassment claim — and he's suing the state's attorney general over it. Cuomo filed the suit against Attorney General Letitia James on...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Post Malone concert doc is all flash, no substance

NEW YORK (AP) — There's a moment in Post Malone’s new concert film when its star confesses to how surreal his life has become: “Sometimes I feel like I’m not a real person.” Fans will get no clarity on that astounding statement after watching Amazon's “Post Malone:...

Jerry Hall, Rupert Murdoch reach agreement on divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Model and actor Jerry Hall and media mogul Rupert Murdoch have agreed to the terms of their pending divorce, her attorney said Thursday. Hall filed a request in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday to dismiss her original petition for divorce from Murdoch,...

Planet Drum unites global percussionists in common rhythm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Grammy-winning group of the world’s top percussionists has reunited after 15 years on a new record that aims to bring the world together in rhythm and dance. Planet Drum’s new record “In The Groove,” out now, features drummers from very different...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Anne Heche remains on life support for donor evaluation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anne Heche remains on life support and under evaluation for organ donation after a car crash...

Congress OKs Dems' climate, health bill, a Biden triumph

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Congress gave final approval Friday to Democrats' flagship climate and health care...

Fetterman 'grateful' as he returns to Pa. Senate race

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman acknowledged he was lucky to be alive as he...

Russian GDP drops 4% in Q2 -- 1st full quarter of fighting

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s gross domestic product contracted 4% in the second quarter of this year, the first full...

Gang violence leaves 11 dead in Mexican border city

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A gang riot inside a border prison that left two inmates dead quickly spread to the streets...

Gunman in Montenegro kills 10, then shot dead by passerby

CETINJE, Montenegro (AP) — A man went on a shooting rampage in the streets of this western Montenegro city...

Derek Kravitz AP Real Estate Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The mortgage settlement that government officials announced Thursday is intended to help victims of foreclosure abuses that followed the housing bust.

Many companies that process foreclosures failed to verify documents. Some employees signed papers they hadn't read. Or they used fake signatures to speed foreclosures - a step called "robo-signing." As a result, some homes were seized improperly.

Here's a look at what the settlement will and won't do for current and former homeowners:

Q: Who stands to benefit?

A: Most of the money would go to some homeowners who are "underwater." That means they owe more on their loan than their home is worth. Many are struggling to make their payments and are at risk of foreclosure. Yet because they have no home equity, they've been unable to refinance into a lower-rate loan. For about 1 million underwater homeowners, their loan principal will be reduced by an average of $20,000. But more than 90 percent of underwater homeowners won't be helped. Some, however, might be eligible to refinance at a rate of 5.25 percent.

Q: How might the settlement help people avoid foreclosures?

A: It requires that banks make foreclosure a last resort. And it bars lenders from foreclosing on a homeowner who is being considered for a loan modification. If this worked effectively, "it would help borrowers, lenders, the entire country," said Ray Brescia, a visiting law professor at Yale University, who has tracked the housing crisis. But he cautioned that it would help only if diligently enforced.

Q: Who's eligible for relief?

A: Those whose loans are owned or guaranteed by private lenders. Roughly half the mortgages in the United States - about 30 million loans - are owned by private lenders. The other half are owned by government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Homeowners with these mortgages aren't eligible.

Q: How will the deal help those who unfairly lost their home to foreclosure due to robo-signing?

A: Roughly 750,000 households - about half who are eligible for aid under the deal - could get checks for $2,000 if they lost their homes between 2008 and 2011. Critics note that that's not much relief for people who lost their homes when they were improperly foreclosed upon.

Q: Will homeowners and states still be able to take action against lenders on their own?

A: Homeowners who get checks will not lose their rights to sue lenders in court. And states will still be able to criminally charge lenders and servicers who engaged in deceptive or illegal foreclosure practices. Missouri, for example, charged a Georgia-based mortgage servicer and its founder last week on charges of falsifying 68 notarized deeds on behalf of mortgage lenders.

Q: Could the settlement help repair the troubled housing market?

A: Possibly, but only in the long run. U.S. banks will likely process foreclosures faster now that a deal has been finalized. Foreclosure filings have slowed because of backlogged courts, judges skeptical of foreclosure documents and lenders awaiting a final government-backed deal. "If it helps 1 million homeowners over the next few years, it should help housing prices stabilize and start rising again," said Mark Zandi, economist at Moody's Analytics. "And this should unclog the foreclosure process."

Q: Is the settlement fair?

A: The deal forces the five largest mortgage lenders to reduce loans or send checks to nearly 2 million American households. But considering the range and depth of the U.S. housing crisis, the payout amounts to small change for the banks. And only a fraction of people who likely need help will get it.

Q: Who will enforce the terms of the deal?

A: North Carolina's banking commissioner, Joseph A. Smith Jr., will monitor enforcement. Lenders that violate the deal could face $1 million penalties per violation and up to $5 million for repeat violators. The banks will also have to pay fines to the federal government if they don't use the funds to help mortgage holders.

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