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Sponsor yanks bill that critics said favored banks over homeowners in foreclosure

Local News

Drugs taken in burglary at Lexington pharmacy, money stolen in gas station robbery

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Foreclosure: The Movie… (finally!) coming to a screen near you

You can say a lot of things about the foreclosure crisis, but you can’t say that moving into a neighborhood destroyed by foreclosures could drive a man insane after he falls victim to ancient curses while living a haunted house.

Until now!

Those very events are the plot of a long-delayed movie now available on DVD and various on demand platforms. “Foreclosure,” which first hit HousingWire’s radar in 2010, (yes, 2010! How’s that for a scoop!?!?) tells the story of Bill Landopolous, played by Michael Imperioli, who moves into a house in Queens, New York with his son and father-in-law.

But, as it so often is in the movies, this house is more than just a house.

From the official plot synopsis:

In Foreclosure, Michael Imperioli plays a man whose lucrative business during a long bull market selling his expertise on financial markets in a small town crumbles when the foreclosure crisis hits and he loses his own home. He goes on the road with his father-in-law Raymond and son Steven until they move into a house bequeathed to Raymond by his late brother-in-law Calvin.

The three hope to put their cares behind them and start afresh but ominous premonitions start when a local police officer points out all the numerous foreclosures, bank-owned properties and short sales that have depopulated the once-attractive neighborhood he patrols.

The film’s director, Richard Ledes, said that the movie is “powered by a ghost story that transfigures traumas around race that interact throughout American history.”

Check out the trailer:

Foreclosure – Trailer from Virgil Films on Vimeo.


While living at the house, Imperioli’s character is visited by Virgil Paxton, played by Wendell Pierce, who tells him that “horrible events” have taken place in and around the house, specifically at a tree beside the house.

“In my ghost film Foreclosure, the economic crisis of 2008 unleashes a virulent and violent resurrection of racism,” Ledes said. “The racism that haunts the world of the film eventually possesses the protagonist Bill Lindopoulos who decides he must lynch his son to prove he is white.”

Ledes said that his motivation and inspiration for making the film ran deep.

“I am myself Greek-American and was particularly interested in how Southern-Europeans such as Greeks often experienced immigration to the United States in the late 19th and first half of the 20th century as a struggle to be identified as white,” Ledes continued.

“This was especially true during the period when they were being targeted by groups such as the Klu Klux Klan for reputedly diluting the purity of the ‘Nordic race ’with an admixture of the ‘Mediterranean race.’ I wrote the film before the recent paroxysm of police violence against blacks and before the European campaign of austerity that has decimated Greece,” Ledes added.

“Can we see these historical phenomena as involving ghosts? The film has only gained in relevance as these terrible forces have reappeared,” Ledes continued. “The neighborhood in Queens where we shot Foreclosure was replete with foreclosed housing and there is no doubt that those empty houses helped inspire us.”

According to the film’s website, Foreclosure is now available Amazon, Vimeo on Demand, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play.

The movie’s tagline is “Ghosts don’t move out.” Kind of gives a whole new meaning to zombie foreclosures, amirite?

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Buffalo to seek state’s help to create public works campus

ALBANY – The City of Buffalo will seek Albany’s help for a $40 million “public works campus” to replace a number of aging truck barns and impound yards and make room for new development at the site of its current Broadway headquarters on the edge of downtown.

Mayor Byron W. Brown Wednesday revealed specifics of a plan at which he has hinted over the past several years, but took a much more concrete form before a joint legislative hearing reviewing Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2015-16 budget.

Though he does not know exactly where a new facility will be located, he said the city seeks a “more industrialized” area. He also told senators and assemblymen reviewing his budget request that he seeks state funding to help make the project a reality.

“Right now we just want to start the conversation,” he said following his afternoon testimony. “Our operations would be a lot more efficient if we consolidated into one public works facility.”

Brown said the plan would be to remove snowplows, garbage trucks and construction equipment from the burgeoning neighborhood near the current facility in the African-American Tourism Corridor. Not only would operations prove more efficient and workers be safer and more comfortable in a new facility, he said, but the removal of the vintage 1890 structure on Broadway would prove ideal for new development.

The mammoth building, usually referred to as the “Broadway barns,” has served a variety of purposes over its long history, ranging from an armory during World War I to a venue for hockey and boxing, city officials said.

“The campus would house the city’s municipal snowplowing, garbage collection, paving and construction vehicles, administrative offices, animal shelter and the city impound lot,” Brown told the hearing. “The relocation of the various divisions (which are currently scattered throughout the city) into one Department of Public Works campus will allow for an easily accessible ‘one-stop shop’ for the public to access a variety of DPW services.”

He said more and more tourists are flocking to African-American historic sites along Michigan Avenue near the facility, and the constant commotion of heavy equipment in the area is not conducive to what city planners envision for the area.

As a result, he said the city seeks to locate in one of several new sites it is considering, with no decision near.

Brown, a one-time state senator appearing before a joint budget committee featuring several former colleagues, listed several other priorities to be considered before the budget adoption deadline of April 1. They include:

• LED streetlighting: The mayor seeks funding for an $80 million program stretched over several years to retrofit the city’s streetlighting system with more efficient LED lights, beginning in the downtown section.

He noted the city maintains more than 34,000 lights throughout 1,400 lane miles of streets and several parks. The city now seeks to save $8 million per year when completed. The savings, he said, would stem from a more efficient lighting system and reduced maintenance costs.

• Restore NY Program: Brown seeks restoration of funding not found in the new budget that rehabilitated and demolished 535 structures and is deemed essential for the expansion of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

• Brownfield Opportunity Areas: Brown said the BOA Program provides financial assistance to complete brownfield revitalization plans with up to 90 percent of eligible project costs. He said the governor’s proposed budget does not include funding for the program, and he seeks restoration of those funds.

He also seeks extension of a companion Brownfield Cleanup Program.

• Super Bid at “In Rem” Foreclosure Auctions: The mayor noted the city forecloses on several-thousand tax-delinquent properties each year through its In Rem Tax Foreclosure process. Many properties are transferred from one negligent landlord to another because the city has no preferred bid status at such auctions.

Because the city cannot step in front of all other bidders to acquire problem properties at the auction, he said, neglected properties continue to cycle through ownership by unscrupulous landlords. He said the city would benefit from being granted the same “super bid” power used by land banks.

• Local aid funding: Though Brown said the city continues to “do more with less,” it is critical for local aid to be increased.

“The city is highly dependent on state aid with over one-third of all revenues attributable to state support,” he said. “The city has very few alternative revenue sources, other than property tax, which I have committed to not raising.”


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CIT Chief Thain Prepares to Face Critics

John Thain’s quest to raise CIT Group Inc. to banking’s big leagues may hit some turbulence on Thursday.

The 59-year-old Mr. Thain at a public meeting hosted by banking regulators is expected to face the wrath of borrowers and community groups trying to thwart his latest plan, a $3.4 billion deal to buy IMB Holdco LLC, the parent company of OneWest Bank NA.

The appearance by a chief executive at this type of meeting is…

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Kill bill making it easier to foreclose

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Ky. lawmaker: More time needed to study tailgating proposal

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Four new foreclosure laws in Michigan to help keep people in their homes

Michigan’s four new foreclosure laws are aimed to prevent foreclosure, keep people in their homes, increase property tax revenues and prevent delinquent taxpayers from purchasing additional foreclosed properties.

Stop sign featuring the words “Stop foreclosure now.” Photo credit:

Governor Snyder recently signed four additional laws in Michigan to help prevent foreclosure and keep people in their homes. While there a large number of tax properties in Wayne County and Detroit which have received foreclosure notices, these laws are statewide.

The objectives of these laws are to help homeowners overcome hardships and meet their legal responsibilities, reduce the number of vacant properties, improve public safety, increase tax revenues for city and county government services, and prevent delinquent taxpayers from purchasing additional foreclosed properties. The bills are now Public Acts 499 to 502 of 2014, respectively.

House Bills 4882 and 5421 allow homeowners facing financial hardship to use a payment plan to meet tax responsibilities and avoid foreclosure. The foreclosing governmental unit will create the payment plan and agreed upon by the landowner. In other words, homeowners delinquent on their property taxes should be proactive and contact their county treasurer to request working out an agreeable repayment plan. Also, county treasurers are now able to waive additional monthly interest accrued once the payment plan is completed.

Senate Bill 295 requires people interested in bidding on foreclosed property to register with the government unit holding the property at least 14 days before a property sale. The requirement prevents bidders from purchasing homes and buildings if they are found to have outstanding tax payments, unpaid blight fines or a history of financial negligence.

House Bill 5398 allows a foreclosing governmental unit for a county (other than the State) to acquire property owned by the State, the Federal government, a land bank fast track authority, or another governmental entity, to facilitate the sale of tax reverted property.

Preventing foreclosures is a statewide concern. These laws give county treasurers the ability to work out repayment plans with tax delinquent homeowners and waive associated fees which add up over several years. Bidders must register and foreclosed properties can be sold quicker. My news articles on February 3, 2014 and August 6, 2014 described other changes to Michigan’s foreclosure laws became effective in 2014.

Many Michigan State University Extension offices have HUD-approved housing counselors who offer free housing counseling. Find one near you at to call for an appointment in person, by phone or online. In other areas, find a HUD approved housing counselor.

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Maryland bankers flock to Annapolis as foreclosure issues persist

Annapolis State House 15

Maryland bankers came to Annapolis to get familiar with how the General Assembly works.

Property Spotlight: 58,600 SF Class A Warehouse Available at 3610 Commerce Drive12 photos

Rick Seltzer
Staff reporter- Baltimore Business Journal


The Maryland Bankers Association’s bankers day has a record number of attendees Wednesday as issues like foreclosures continue to be big in the industry.

Bankers day is bigger than ever in Annapolis, even though the money lenders don’t have a single issue or rallying cry this year.

The Maryland Bankers Association is holding a day at the state capital Wednesday for bankers to meet legislators, watch the Senate and House of Delegates in session and get a feel for politics. It’s the second year in a row the association has hosted the day since suspending it for several years due to a crunch on its resources during the Great Recession.

Before that, the day was an annual event drawing 60 to 80 bankers. But it’s returned in full force these last two years, rising to a record 120 attendees Wednesday, said bankers association CEO Kathleen Murphy.

You might think the day would be all about legislators getting to know bankers. But it cuts the other way, too.

“We’re trying to create opportunities for the bankers to see how human the legislators are, just hear them as people,” Murphy said. “Our top priority is getting to know the new legislators.”

That’s a departure from previous years when the association focused on legislators who were members of bank boards. This year is also different for the Maryland Bankers Association in that it’s not pushing the passage of a set number of bills. It saw four priority bills passed last year.

Still, the association is looking at several different pieces of legislation. Much of it deals with foreclosure issues. There are over a dozen foreclosure-related bills introduced in the legislature this year, Murphy said — no surprise considering the time it takes Maryland homes to go through the foreclosure process has ballooned to more than 500 days in recent years.

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Foreclosure Starts Climb by 5.5%: Black Knight









Foreclosure starts in January rose to their highest level in 13 months, even as the national mortgage delinquency continued to fall, according to data from Black Knight Financial Services.

Total foreclosure starts increased 5.5% from December to 94,300, a 0.2% increase from the year prior, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Black Knight said in its first look monthly mortgage data report.

Within the same period, however, the national delinquency rate fell to 5.56% in January, a 1.41% drop from December and a more than 11% dip from January 2014.

The mortgage analytics firm found that more than 2.8 million properties were 30 or more days delinquent, but not in foreclosure, a decrease of 327,000 from the same period in 2014. The number of properties 90 or more days past due also decreased year-over-year, this time by 177,000 properties to more than 1.1 million.

Additionally, the foreclosure presale inventory declined on both a month-to-month and year-over-year basis. The figure stood at 815,000 in January, down 5,000 from December and 360,000 from the year prior.

Mississippi continued to lead the country in terms of its having the highest number of properties and delinquencies as a percentage of all active loans, with 14.19%. New Jersey, Louisiana, New York and Maine also featured in the top five.

On the other end of the spectrum, North Dakota had the lowest noncurrent percentage at 2.42%, followed by Colorado, South Dakota, Alaska and Montana.

Oregon and Florida also made moves by experiencing the strongest improvement in the percent of active loans that foreclosures and delinquencies comprised, decreasing 10.28% and 10.05%, respectively.

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Bank buys Military Museum in foreclosure sale

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O’Donnell ordered to serve six months in jail on probation violation

Charles Winokoor

Taunton Gazette Staff Reporter

Posted Feb. 23, 2015 at 10:54 PM
Updated at 1:46 PM

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