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Reward offered for robber of cash advance store who bound clerk


Home for the holidays, Detroit woman shot to death on Christmas morning

Home for the holidays, Detroit woman shot to death on Christmas morning

Updated: Wednesday, December 31 2014 12:32 AM EST2014-12-31 05:32:29 GMT

A bright young woman with a promising future had her life cut short on Christmas morning on Detroit’s east side. Christina Samuel was sitting in her car when she was killed.

A bright young woman with a promising future had her life cut short on Christmas morning on Detroit’s east side. Christina Samuel was sitting in her car when she was killed.

Former Motown musician wants stolen instruments back

Former Motown musician wants stolen instruments back

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014 11:18 PM EST2014-12-31 04:18:23 GMT

A West Bloomfield woman who played on some of Motown’s biggest hits is asking for the public’s help.

A West Bloomfield woman who played on some of Motown’s biggest hits is asking for the public’s help.

Stretch of road renamed for fallen Westland firefighter

Stretch of road renamed for fallen Westland firefighter

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014 10:21 PM EST2014-12-31 03:21:56 GMT

A one-mile stretch of Ford Road has been re-named The Brian Woehlke Memorial Highway. And for those who fought fires alongside of him, it’s a good way to keep his memory alive, they said.

A one-mile stretch of Ford Road has been re-named The Brian Woehlke Memorial Highway. And for those who fought fires alongside of him, it’s a good way to keep his memory alive, they said.

Reward offered for robber of cash advance store who bound clerk

Reward offered for robber of cash advance store who bound clerk

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014 9:33 PM EST2014-12-31 02:33:25 GMT

Waterford Township police are looking for an armed suspect who robbed an Advance America Cash Advance on Dec. 23.

Waterford Township police are looking for an armed suspect who robbed an Advance America Cash Advance on Dec. 23.

Police look for killer of Inkster boy found shot to death in street

Police look for killer of Inkster boy found shot to death in street

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014 8:56 PM EST2014-12-31 01:56:41 GMT

Inkster police are looking for a killer after a 17-year-old boy was gunned down, his body left in the street Monday night.

Inkster police are looking for a killer after a 17-year-old boy was gunned down, his body left in the street Monday night.

Boaters, off-road drivers to face stricter drunk driving laws

Boaters, off-road drivers to face stricter drunk driving laws

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014 8:14 PM EST2014-12-31 01:14:18 GMT

Michigan now has stricter drunk driving laws for boaters, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. Gov. Rick Snyder said that the new legislation will improve public safety but some people are wondering what the real intent of the law is.

Michigan now has stricter drunk driving laws for boaters, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. Gov. Rick Snyder said that the new legislation will improve public safety but some people are wondering what the real intent of the law is.

Graffiti of angel holding police officer at gunpoint spurs outrage

Graffiti of angel holding police officer at gunpoint spurs outrage

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014 7:42 PM EST2014-12-31 00:42:22 GMT

Both police and the director of a youth center in Detroit call a recent graffiti painting “hurtful.”

Both police and the director of a youth center in Detroit call a recent graffiti painting “hurtful.”

Ndamukong Suh wins appeal, will play vs Dallas

Ndamukong Suh wins appeal, will play vs Dallas

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014 7:07 PM EST2014-12-31 00:07:24 GMT

The Lions learned Tuesday that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will, in fact, play in the wild card game against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Lions learned Tuesday that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will, in fact, play in the wild card game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Detroit Weather Authority Forecast: A Chilly End To 2014

Detroit Weather Authority Forecast: A Chilly End To 2014

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014 5:55 PM EST2014-12-30 22:55:07 GMT

Weather Authority Rich Luterman: Colder and colder through the New Year.

Weather Authority Rich Luterman: Colder and colder through the New Year.

Warren teacher charged with battery of 67-year-old woman

Warren teacher charged with battery of 67-year-old woman

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014 5:39 PM EST2014-12-30 22:39:59 GMT

A Warren Mott High School teacher spent part of her Christmas break in jail after being arrested in the Florida keys.

A Warren Mott High School teacher spent part of her Christmas break in jail after being arrested in the Florida keys.

[…]

All-Cash Share of U.S. Home Sales Pulls Back From 3-Year High, Institutional Investor Share Drops to 3-Year Low

IRVINE, CA–(Marketwired – Aug 19, 2014) – RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its Q2 2014 U.S. Institutional Investor & Cash Sales Report, which shows all-cash sales accounted for 37.9 percent of all sales of single family homes and condos nationwide in the second quarter, down from a three-year high of 42.0 percent in the previous quarter but still up from 35.7 percent a year ago.

The report also shows that sales to institutional investors — entities that purchase at least 10 properties in a calendar year — accounted for 4.7 percent of all sales of single family homes and condos in the second quarter, down from 5.3 percent in the previous quarter and down from 5.8 percent a year ago to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2012.

“The flurry of purchases by institutional investors and other cash buyers that kicked off two years ago when U.S. home prices hit bottom is finally showing signs of subsiding,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president, noting that the U.S. median home prices bottomed out in March 2012. “Over the past 10 quarters cash sales have accounted for 39 percent of all home sales on average, and institutional investor purchases have accounted for 5.3 percent of all home sales on average. Prior to that, from 2001 to 2011, the average quarterly cash share was 30 percent, and the average quarterly institutional investor share was 2.6 percent.”

“This is a classic good news/bad news scenario for the housing market,” Blomquist continued. “The good news is that fewer cash buyers should help loosen up inventory of homes for sale and reduce competitive bidding, giving first time homebuyers and other non-cash buyers more opportunities. The bad news is that some of those first time homebuyers and other non-cash buyers may already be priced out of the market thanks to the rapid run-up in home prices over the past two years in many areas.”

Cash sales account for larger share of very high-end, low-end and distressed sales
The report shows that U.S. cash sales hit a recent peak of 45.8 percent of all home sales in the first quarter of 2012, when home prices bottomed out, but were down to as low as 34.0 percent of all sales in the third quarter of 2013 before jumping to 36.6 percent in the fourth quarter on the heels of the rise in interest rates and jumping again to 42.0 percent of all sales in the first quarter of 2014, when new qualified mortgage rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took effect.

Cash sales in the second quarter were skewed higher on both ends of the home price spectrum. Cash sales accounted for 67 percent of purchases of homes selling for $100,000 or less, and cash sales accounted for 45 percent of purchases of homes selling for more than $2 million.

Cash sales represented a larger share of distressed sales, with 49 percent of bank-owned sales, 61 percent of sales of properties in the foreclosure process, and 96 percent of sales at the foreclosure auction. By comparison, non-distressed home sales were 36 percent all-cash.

Cash sales more than half of all sales in Miami, New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Las Vegas
Among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 500,000, those with the top six highest percentages of cash sales were all in Florida: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach (64.1 percent), Cape Coral-Fort Myers (62.1 percent), Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice (61.5 percent), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (54.6 percent), Lakeland (53.0 percent), and Orlando-Kissimmee (52.2 percent). All six metros posted a lower all-cash share of sales than the previous quarter and a year ago.

Other major metro areas with an all-cash share among the top 20 highest nationwide were Las Vegas (50.7 percent), New York (48.2 percent), Detroit (47.7 percent), Kansas City (46.8 percent), Philadelphia (45.1 percent), and Cleveland (45.1 percent).

Analysis of percentage of cash sales with subsequent financing
RealtyTrac analyzed more than 7,500 all-cash transactions for single family homes in Orange County, Calif., between January 2013 and July 2014 to determine what percentage of the properties purchases were subsequently financed by the buyer.

The analysis found that 10 percent of those all-cash purchases had some sort of subsequent mortgage taken out by the owner who purchased with cash. The subsequent financing was recorded on average 136 days after the sale of the property was recorded.

Institutional investor share increases in Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Columbus, Miami
Among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 500,000, those with the highest share of institutional investor purchases in the second quarter were Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta (15.6 percent), Las Vegas-Paradise (14.4 percent), Jacksonville, Fla., (12. 5 percent), Memphis, Tenn. (12.0 percent), and Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord (11.3 percent).

Although Atlanta documented the highest share of institutional investor sales in the second quarter, its 15.6 percent share was down from a 20.6 percent share in the first quarter and a 16.5 percent share in the second quarter of 2013 — following nine consecutive quarters with year-over-year increases in Atlanta’s institutional investor share.

The institutional investor share of home purchases were also down from a year ago in Memphis and Charlotte, but increased from a year ago in Las Vegas and Jacksonville, bucking the national trend.

Other metro areas among the top 10 for institutional investor share with increases from a year ago were Knoxville, Tenn., (10.0 percent compared to 6.9 percent a year ago); Columbus, Ohio (9.2 percent compared to 6.9 percent a year ago); and Miami (8.2 percent compared to 6.7 percent a year ago).

Institutional investor breakdown: price, foreclosure status, financing and bulk sales
The report shows that the second quarter share of institutional investor purchases was the lowest since the first quarter of 2012, when they represented 4.6 percent of all U.S. home sales. The peak in institutional investor share of all sales was 6.0 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

In the second quarter institutional investors purchased homes at an average sale price of $147,017, while the average estimated full market value of the homes purchased was $164,553 at the time of the sale.

The majority of purchases made by institutional investors in the second quarter were all-cash (79 percent) and not in any stage of foreclosure or bank-owned (80 percent). Of the remaining 20 percent, 7 percent were bank-owned, 11 percent were scheduled for a foreclosure auction, and 2 percent were in default with no foreclosure auction date set.

Analysis of institutional investor bulk transactions on single family homes
Among the 29,444 single family homes purchased by institutional investors in the second quarter, 8,856 (29 percent) were bulk transactions involving multiple properties sold on the same date from the same seller and to the same buyer. The 29 percent bulk transactions was down from 31 percent in the previous quarter but still up from 19 percent a year ago.

An analysis of the buyers and sellers involved with the bulk transactions indicated that most of the bulk transactions involve an institutional investor with multiple corporations purchasing properties that are consolidating all of those properties under a single ownership name. A detailed breakdown of buyers and sellers involved in these bulk transactions is available upon request.

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac U.S. Institutional Investor & Cash Sales Report provides percentages of all sales that are sold to institutional investors and cash buyers, by state and metropolitan statistical area. Data is also available at the county and zip code level upon request. The data is derived from recorded sales deeds and loan data. Statistics for previous quarters are revised when each new quarterly report is issued as more deed data becomes available for those previous months.

Special note on methodology change in second quarter of 2014: RealtyTrac adjusted its methodology for calculating cash sales, changing how loan coverage was determined and eliminating data from one of the data providers used in the past.

Definitions
All-cash purchases: sales where no loan is recorded at the time of sale and where RealtyTrac has coverage of loan data.

Institutional investor purchases: residential property sales to non-lending entities that purchased at least 10 properties in the last 12 months.

Report License
The RealtyTrac U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

Data Licensing and Custom Report Order
Investors, businesses and government institutions can contact RealtyTrac to license bulk foreclosure and neighborhood data or purchase customized reports. For more information contact our Data Licensing Department at 800.462.5193 or datasales@realtytrac.com.

About RealtyTrac
RealtyTrac is a leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with nationwide parcel-level records for more than 129 million U.S. parcels that include property characteristics, tax assessor data, sales and mortgage deed records, Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) and 20 million active and historical default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties. RealtyTrac’s housing data and foreclosure reports are relied on by many federal government agencies, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.

FinanceReal EstateRealtyTracInstitutional Investor […]

Chinese consumers switch gears from cash to credit for car buys

By Samuel Shen and Umesh Desai

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – In a country where owning a car has long been a symbol of luxury and success, around 85 percent of Chinese car buyers still buy cars with cash.

But people like Chinese accountant Grace Mi and her peers in their 20s and 30s are changing the car financing game and are the ones catching the attention of global carmakers looking to boost revenue and defend margins in an increasingly competitive market.

These young people are willing to buy big-ticket items like a car on credit – a behavior unheard of some 15 years ago in China – and have led carmakers to boost their financing units in the mainland.

The push by automakers to steer more people to buy on credit comes as part of their broader efforts to make up for sliding margins on new-car sales in China where more companies are cutting prices to entice buyers. Other key revenue sources include maintenance and repairs, vehicle leasing and sales of accessories and parts.

Mi, a 27-year-old accountant in Beijing, did not have enough cash on hand to outright buy her dream car, a Nissan Sylphy, with a price tag of about 150,000 yuan ($24,200). Instead, she saved enough money for a down payment and took out a loan.

“I didn’t want to take a penny from my retired parents,” Mi said, adding that owning a car had become increasingly important for her personal and work life. “I didn’t have to wait for years to own a car.”

Mi has been repaying 2,500 yuan, or one-fourth of her monthly wage, since November for her Sylphy. While the loan payments are not small, she says she doesn’t feel burdened.

“Accountants are needed everywhere so I’m not worried about job security. I don’t think I am enslaved by the car loan.”

MOVING TO CREDIT

Around 70 percent of car buyers in the United States and other developed countries take out loans, according to a Deloitte report in 2012 and the reason global carmakers are trying to seize on the rise in auto financing in China is because the sector is highly profitable.

The financing unit of Ford Motor Co contributed nearly a quarter of the Deerborn, Michigan-based company’s overall profit last year while rival GM saw 12 percent of its profit come from its finance unit.

“China’s car market remains primarily a cash market, but it is starting to move to credit,” John Lawler, head of Ford’s operations in China, told Reuters in an interview. “It’s a demographic and generational phenomenon. Those people who finance cars are primarily younger buyers.”

China’s central bank gave the sector a boost in early June when it cut the amount of money auto financing firms need to set aside as reserves in a bid to stimulate the economy which is showing signs of slowing.

Global carmakers have been funding their financial units’ expansion by selling off their loans in the form of asset-backed securities to beef up their operations in China. That frees up money they can use to lend to Chinese consumers.

So far this year, the financing units of Ford, BMW , Volkswagen AG , Nissan Motor Co Ltd <7201.T> and Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> have each issued around 800 million yuan ($128.85 million) of asset-backed securities.

GROWING SECTOR, RELATIVE LOW RISK

The country’s automobile association forecast the auto financing industry to more than double to 525 billion yuan ($84.55 billion) by 2025.

In an email to Reuters, GMAC-SAIC Automotive Finance Co Ltd, the financing joint venture of General Motors Co in China, said auto financing will be “integral in facilitating sales” in the world’s biggest auto market.

Bankers and analysts say the chances of car loan defaults are limited in China because the country requires a large down payment – 20 percent for new cars. Consumers here also have a higher savings rate compared with other countries like the United States.

“It is viewed as a future source of income rather than a source of default and losses,” said Patrick Steinemann, co-head of Asia Industrials Investment Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong.

Indeed, GM’s China chief, Matt Tsien, said financing has proved a “steady business” in China.

“One of the characteristics in the Chinese market that’s very good for the financing business is that default rates tend to be very low,” he told Reuters in Detroit. “So the risks are pretty good in that sense. People tend to pay up,” Tsien said.

Such a rapid expansion in auto financing does have risks, coming at a time when worries are mounting over the country’s corporate and government debt. These include the fact that, relatively, Chinese consumers have a short credit history.

One executive at Toyota said the Japanese carmaker has encountered some fraud cases involving fake IDs that first appeared about a year ago in southern China and then began spreading to other parts of the country.

Toyota uses a set of risk assessment tools modeled around those used in other countries and refined to local practices in China that are being used by global carmakers, two Toyota executives said. Both declined to be identified because they were not allowed to speak the media.

Toyota has further beefed up its loan assessment process and on occasions turn to the old-style approach of home visits, they added.

“Home visits are still the most direct way of verifying customer addresses, but due to time and labor requirements we can only use it sparingly,” one of the executives said. ($1=6.21 yuan)

(Additional reporting by Shanghai newsroom, Jane Lee, Norihiko Shirouzu and Paul Ingrassia; Writing by Kazunori Takada; Editing by Norihiko Shirouzu and Matt Driskill)

FinanceAuto LoansChina […]

Bankruptcy judge OK's $120 million loan for Detroit

(Reuters) – A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved Detroit’s plan to borrow $120 million from Barclays PLC to improve services in the cash-strapped city.

Judge Steven Rhodes, who is overseeing Detroit’s historic bankruptcy case, overruled objections by city creditors who took issue with the timing and structure of the loan.

“This court has previously held the city is service-delivery insolvent,” Rhodes said.

Detroit has said it plans to use some of the loan proceeds on public safety improvements.

The loan deal emerged early last month after a larger loan was rejected in part by the judge in January. The previous loan, backed largely by city casino tax revenue, included $165 million that Detroit wanted to use to pay two investment banks to end soured interest rate swap agreements that contributed to the city’s filing of the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history in July. Those swaps were used to hedge interest rate risk on some Detroit pension debt.

In January, Rhodes ruled that the $165 million price tag was too high for the broke city.

On Thursday, the judge will hold a hearing on Detroit’s latest plan to terminate the swaps at a deeply discounted cost of $85 million. Given the smaller amount of money and the fact it would be paid over time, the city has said it would no longer need to include it in the borrowing.

Under the $120 million loan, Detroit would no longer pledge the casino tax revenue, which is crucial to helping the city get back on its feet as it restructures its $18 billion of debt and other obligations. Instead, the city is pledging income tax revenue and the proceeds of asset sales, except for property of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The loan deal received previous approval from the Detroit City Council and Michigan’s Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board.

(Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by James Dalgleish and Dan Grebler)

FinanceBudget, Tax & EconomyDetroitSteven Rhodes […]

U.S. bankruptcy judge OK's $120 mln loan for Detroit

(Recasts with direct sourcing, adds quote from judge, background)

April 2 (Reuters) – A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved Detroit’s plan to borrow $120 million from Barclays PLC to improve services in the cash-strapped city.

Judge Steven Rhodes, who is overseeing Detroit’s historic bankruptcy case, overruled objections by city creditors who took issue with the timing and structure of the loan.

“This court has previously held the city is service-delivery insolvent,” Rhodes said.

Detroit has said it plans to use some of the loan proceeds on public safety improvements.

The loan deal emerged early last month after a larger loan was rejected in part by the judge in January. The previous loan, backed largely by city casino tax revenue, included $165 million that Detroit wanted to use to pay two investment banks to end soured interest rate swap agreements that contributed to the city’s filing of the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history in July. Those swaps were used to hedge interest rate risk on some Detroit pension debt.

In January, Rhodes ruled that the $165 million price tag was too high for the broke city.

On Thursday, the judge will hold a hearing on Detroit’s latest plan to terminate the swaps at a deeply discounted cost of $85 million. Given the smaller amount of money and the fact it would be paid over time, the city has said it would no longer need to include it in the borrowing.

Under the $120 million loan, Detroit would no longer pledge the casino tax revenue, which is crucial to helping the city get back on its feet as it restructures its $18 billion of debt and other obligations. Instead, the city is pledging income tax revenue and the proceeds of asset sales, except for property of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The loan deal received previous approval from the Detroit City Council and Michigan’s Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board.

(Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by James Dalgleish and Dan Grebler)

FinanceBudget, Tax & EconomyDetroitSteven Rhodes […]

Auto lending giant Ally Financial agrees to pay $98 million to settle bias charge

The settlement resolves allegations by federal officials that Ally and its sister company, Ally Bank, discriminated by charging 235,000 minority borrowers higher rates than whites in the year following April 2011. On average, black, Hispanic and Asian American customers paid between $200 and just over $300 more for auto loans than whites who were equally creditworthy, federal officials charged.

“With this largest-ever settlement in an auto-loan discrimination case, we are taking a firm stand against discrimination in a critical lending market,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement.

The alleged discrimination took place as part of a common industry practice that is invisible to borrowers but allows auto dealers to mark up interest rates offered by finance companies such as Ally, federal officials said.

Finance companies such as Ally set an interest rate based on objective criteria — including a borrower’s credit history and the size of his or her down payment — and then dealers are free to increase the interest rates within certain limits. The finance companies and the dealers then split the extra profits.

The system “creates financial incentives for dealers to mark up borrowers’ interest rates above those established based on the consumers’ creditworthiness,” according to the complaint filed Friday in federal court in Detroit.

Ally was known as GMAC before rebranding itself and receiving a $17. 2 billion bailout from the federal government’s Troubled Assets Relief Program during the height of the financial crisis. As auto lending and sales have surged in the years since the crisis, the company has repaid all but $4.9 billion, Gina Proia, Ally’s chief communications officer, said.

Although the company agreed to the settlement, it said that it does not receive information about borrowers’ race or ethnicity, and, consequently, does not discriminate.

“Ally does not make loans directly to consumers, but rather, it purchases installment contracts originated by auto dealers,” Ally said in a statement. “Ally assesses these contracts and sets pricing based solely on a consumer’s creditworthiness and contract characteristics.”

The company added that its own analysis found no evidence that the thousands of dealers through which it makes auto loans discriminated. “Regardless, Ally takes the assertions by the CFPB and [Justice Department] very seriously and has agreed to the terms” of the settlement, it said.

Federal officials said that despite the indirect nature of Ally’s lending, it has not done enough to ensure that dealers do not discriminate.

“Ally fails to adequately monitor its interest rate markups for discrimination or require dealers to document their markup decisions,” according to a statement released by the Justice Department and the CFPB. “Ally’s first effort to monitor for discrimination in interest rate markups began only earlier this year after it learned of the CFPB’s preliminary findings of discrimination.”

Beyond the $98 million in settlement payments and a requirement that Ally refund any future discriminatory interest rate charges, the deal requires Ally to better monitor how its loans are made.

The investigation into Ally’s loan practices involved a statistical analysis of the surnames of 800,000 auto loan customers, since auto loan data are not collected by race. The surnames were linked to race through a technique widely used by social scientists, according to the government complaint.

Through that process, investigators found that Ally charged African American borrowers interest rates that were 29 basis points — just over a quarter of a percentage point — higher than those charged to equally qualified white borrowers. That difference, on average, cost black borrowers more than $300 in additional interest charges over the life of a loan.

For Hispanics, the disparity was 20 basis points, which cost them on average $200 more in interest charges than equally creditworthy white borrowers. For Asian Americans, the disparity with whites was 22 basis points, which resulted in additional interest payments of more than $200 a month, the government charged.

“Discrimination is a serious issue across every consumer credit market,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “We are returning $80 million to hard-working consumers who paid more for their cars and trucks based on their race or national origin.”

[…]

Detroit secures $350M loan to help pay off debt

DETROIT (AP) — Cash-strapped Detroit has secured a $350 million loan to help pay off some of its massive pension debt, state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr said Friday.

About $230 million in financing from Barclays would be used to fully pay off a complicated pension debt deal involving two major creditors. The rest would be used to improve basic city services and city government technology infrastructure.

The loan would be secured with pledges of casino and income tax revenue, and proceeds from the sale of city-owned of assets that top $10 million.

‘‘We said at the outset of this process that we are committed to improving the financial condition of Detroit and the lives of its 700,000 citizens, and our team worked tirelessly to bring this significant post-petition financing to bear,’’ Orr said Friday in a release.

The deal still has to be approved by federal Judge Steven Rhodes, who is overseeing the bankruptcy. The city intends to make that request to Rhodes later this month, Orr’s office said.

Orr’s July 18 bankruptcy filing is the largest by a U.S. city. He has said Detroit’s $18 billion or more debt includes underfunded obligations of about $3.5 billion for pensions and $5.7 billion for retiree health coverage.

In 2009, the city pledged its casino tax revenue as collateral to avoid defaulting on past pension debt payments. The swaps allowed Detroit to get fixed interest rates on pension bonds with UBS and Bank of America.

Orr wants Rhodes to approve a settlement in which Detroit would pay UBS and Bank of America as little as 75 cents on the dollar on $340 million in debt.

The Barclays loan would be used to pay off UBS and Bank of America, while saving the city more than $60 million on the total amount owed on the swaps.

But New York-based bond debt insurer Syncora Guarantee says it will lose money if that deal is approved. Syncora has been fighting the settlement so it can keep up to $15 million in the casino tax revenue each month in a bank-held trust.

Orr has argued that the casino money is needed to help keep the city running and pay for some services, and Rhodes ruled in August it can’t be withheld during the bankruptcy request and Syncora can’t object to the city’s proposal involving UBS and Bank of America.

The Barclays proposal also has to go before the City Council for approval, but Michigan’s emergency manager law gives Orr final say over all financial decisions.

Orr said he also will seek approval for the deal from the state’s emergency financial assistance loan board.

The financing will be issued as financial recovery bonds.

© Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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States where the most homebuyers pay cash

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USA TodayFILED UNDER

USA TODAY – As many as 40% of the homes sold in the U.S. in July were purchased in cash, up from 31% a year earlier, according to data published last week.

Rising interest rates are partly driving this uptick in cash sales, according to real estate data company RealtyTrac. Another reason may be the opportunity investors see in some markets. In some states, all-cash transactions made up a larger portion of sales than others. In Florida, nearly two-thirds of home sales were completed without a mortgage loan. Based on the RealtyTrac report, these are the states where the most homebuyers pay cash.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., RealtyTrac CEO Daren Blomquist explained that higher levels of institutional investing – rather than private purchases of families buying a home to live in – were the likely cause of the increased cash purchases in some of these states. This is because institutional investors almost always pay for homes in full upfront. Indeed, the majority of the states with the 10 highest cash purchases in July also had among the highest levels of institutional buying. In Georgia, which was sixth in the country for home cash purchases, 22% of all sales were to institutional investors, compared to a national rate of just 9%.

Many of the states with the most homes sold for cash are among the ones hardest hit by the housing crisis. Home prices in Florida, Nevada and Michigan plummeted 50% or more. Homes prices also are particularly low in some of these states. The median list price in Ohio was just $118,900 in July. This was more than $75,000 below the national median.

Blomquist explained that the decline in prices may be the reason for the higher cash sales in these states. “Both investors and regular buyers are seeing the most opportunity to jump in and buy, and are willing to use their own money,” he said.

In many of these states, a large segment of home sales are “distressed,” or homes purchased in foreclosure or owned by a bank. In Nevada, more than one in five homes sold in July were repossessed properties.

This is likely affecting the number of homes being purchased with cash in two ways. First, distressed homes can be bought at a significant discount – a median of just $52,000 in Michigan, for example. Second, “By nature, with distressed sales, besides the fact that it’s low-priced, when you buy a foreclosure property at the public foreclosure auction, in most states, you do have to pay cash there. No matter what the price, you do have to pay cash,” Bloomquist added.

Based on data provided by RealtyTrac, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 states where the largest percentage of homes sold in July were purchased with cash. RealtyTrrac also provided median list price, as well as data on bank-owned sales, short sales and institutional sales for the states and the largest metro areas. All data is as of July 2013.

These are the states where the most homebuyers pay cash.

10. Hawaii

> Pct. cash sales: 44.3%
> Median list price: $429,900 (the highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 2.3% (7th lowest)

While nearly half of all home sales in Hawaii in July were cash sales, the state has little in common with other states on this list. Unlike other states where home buyers pay cash, just 2.3% of homes bought in Hawaii in July were acquired by institutional buyers. Instead, institutional investors largely focused on buying commercial properties, with substantial activity in buying retail locations, rental facilities and showcase hotels. And again unlike other states, Hawaii had fewer homes sold at a loss and very few homes sold by banks – sales that are typically conducted in cash. One reason many buyers may choose to pay cash is that the Hawaiian market is expensive – the July median list price of $429,900 was the highest in the nation – and many homes may only be affordable for the truly wealthy.

9. New Jersey

> Pct. cash sales: 45.0%
> Median list price: $279,900 (5th highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 3.1% (9th lowest)

Roughly 45% of homes sold in New Jersey in July were cash sales, above the 40% nationwide. However, just over 3% of homes sold in New Jersey were sales to institutional investors, versus 9.1% nationwide. Sales of those types of homes that are frequently conducted in cash, including bank-owned and short-sold homes, were less common in New Jersey relative to the rest of the United States as well. However, many homes placed for sale in the state were fairly expensive – the median list price of nearly $280,000 was among the highest in the nation. Wealth may explain many of the buyers’ abilities to purchase a house in cash as New Jersey had one of the highest median incomes in the nation as of 2011.

8. Ohio

> Pct. cash sales: 47.0%
> Median list price: $118,900 (the lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 7.0% (23rd highest)

Ohio had among the highest rates for distressed property sales in July, at 16% of all homes sold. A short sale means the prior owner’s mortgage balance exceeds the sales value of the home. Additionally, 15% of homes sold in the state were bank-owned, more than all but three other states. Like many states where home buyers are paying all cash, the number of distressed home sales had an impact on the state’s median home price. Ohio had the nation’s lowest median list price in July, at $118,900. Cash sales were widespread in some of the state’s largest cities, representing 44% of all purchases in the Cleveland area, and 47% in Cincinnati.

7. Arizona

> Pct. cash sales: 47.8%
> Median list price: $192,500 (22nd highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 14.6% (3rd highest)

Fifteen percent of available properties in July were purchased by institutional investors, more than in all but two other states. This is actually down from a year earlier, when Arizona led the nation with 19.8% of all the state’s sales acquired by institutional investors. Several other types of transactions usually completed in cash were also popular in the state. More than 17% of homes bought in the state in July were bank-owned, one of the highest percentages in the nation. Similarly, short-sales accounted for more than 18% of sales, also among the highest. In Tucson, 57% of all July home sales were paid in full up front.

6. Georgia

> Pct. cash sales: 49.5%
> Median list price: $169,500 (21st lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 22.2% (the highest)

Georgia has become the preferred destination for institutional investors. They were the buyers for more than 22% of all home sales in July, the highest proportion in the nation. Many of these sales were in the Atlanta metro area, which led the nation in homes sales going to institutional investors with 25% of all residential properties sold. Also fueling the high proportion of cash purchases, nearly 15% of all homes sold in Georgia in July were bank-owned, one of the highest rates in the nation.

5. South Carolina

> Pct. cash sales: 49.9%
> Median list price: $164,039 (19th lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 13.7% (6th highest)

Relatively few of South Carolina’s cash sales were of distressed properties. Just under 7% of homes sold were bank-owned, higher than most states but still below the 9% nationwide. Further, 13.6% of sales were short sales, meaning they likely were sold for cash, which is in line with the national figure. However, the market has been fairly popular with investors. Institutional investor purchases accounted for almost 14% of all home sales, higher than all but a handful of states. In Greenville, institutional investors accounted for nearly 20% of all purchases, the fourth-highest proportion of any large metro area.

4. Michigan

> Pct. cash sales: 53.1%
> Median list price: $129,900 (4th lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 10.5% (9th highest)

In Michigan, “prices are so low that in a lot of cases, it doesn’t even make sense for buyers to get financing,” according to RealtyTrac’s Blomquist. The state had one of the lowest median home prices in the nation, while home prices in Detroit were lower in June than they were in 2000. Nearly two-thirds of homes purchased in the Detroit metro area were paid for in cash, while 26% of homes sold were bank-owned, more than any major metropolitan area in the nation. Despite Michigan’s continued economic struggles, some institutional investors were willing to invest in the state’s housing market. Just over 10% of homes sold in Michigan during July were bought by institutional buyers.

3. Maine

> Pct. cash sales: 59.5%
> Median list price: $209,950 (20th highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 3.3% (10th lowest)

Maine is a fairly small housing market, and it has not attracted much attention from institutional home buyers, which accounted for just 3.3% of sales last month. However, nearly 60% of homes sold in Michigan in July were paid for in cash, well above the 16% just the month before. Much of this activity may be the result of the uptick in cash purchases in Portland, which jumped from 13% of sales in June to 59% of sales in July. The jump in cash purchases in Maine may have been an anomaly, although local real estate agents have noted that home sales and sales prices have risen considerably.

2. Nevada

> Pct. cash sales: 64.4%
> Median list price: $185,000 (24th highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 15.6% (2nd highest)

Nevada home prices tanked during the Great Recession. This left many homeowners in dire straits, as many had outstanding mortgage balances well in excess of their home values. In July, more than 35% of sales were short sales, the highest percentage in the nation. A collapsing local economy also led many homeowners to default. Nearly 21% of homes sold in July were bank-owned, the highest in the country. As a result, many homes sold were inexpensive enough for buyers to pay for them in cash. Demand from investors for these properties was also fairly high, with 15.6% of July home sales listing an institutional investor as the buyer. This may have something to do with the the gambling capital’s global appeal, which attracts international investors, said Blomquist.

1. Florida

> Pct. cash sales: 65.8%
> Median list price: $159,900 (18th lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 14.4% (4th highest)

Home prices plummeted in Florida during the recession, from a peak median listing price of $299,00 in June 2006 to as low as $124,000 in December 2010. Prices were still very low in the state as recently as July. That month, institutional investment made up a large part of total sales, at over 14% of all purchases. The state, according to RealtyTrac’s Blomquist, has attracted much attention from international investors. This is particularly the case in the Miami area, he noted, where cash sales accounted for 69% of all purchases. In Tampa Bay, institutional investors bought 22% of all homes sold that month, more than any major metropolitan area besides Atlanta.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

[…]

States Where Homebuyers Pay Cash

As many as 40% of the homes sold in the U.S. in July were purchased in cash, up from 31% a year earlier, according to data published this week.

Rising interest rates are partly driving this uptick in cash sales, according to real estate data company RealtyTrac. Another reason may be the opportunity investors see in some markets. In some states, all-cash transactions made up a larger portion of sales than others. In Florida, nearly two-thirds of home sales were completed without a mortgage loan. Based on the RealtyTrac report, these are the states where the most homebuyers pay cash.

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Click here to see the housing markets driven by cash

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., RealtyTrac CEO Daren Blomquist explained that higher levels of institutional investing — rather than private purchases of families buying a home to live in — were the likely cause of the increased cash purchases in some of these states. This is because institutional investors almost always pay for homes in full upfront. Indeed, the majority of the states with the 10 highest cash purchases in July also had among the highest levels of institutional buying. In Georgia, which was sixth in the country for home cash purchases, 22% of all sales were to institutional investors, compared to a national rate of just 9%.

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Many of the states with the most homes sold for cash are among the ones hardest hit by the housing crisis. Home prices in Florida, Nevada and Michigan plummeted 50% or more. Homes prices also are particularly low in some of these states. The median list price in Ohio was just $118,900 in July. This was more than $75,000 below the national median.

Blomquist explained that the decline in prices may be the reason for the higher cash sales in these states. “Both investors and regular buyers are seeing the most opportunity to jump in and buy, and are willing to use their own money,” he said.

In many of these states, a large segment of home sales are “distressed,” or homes purchased in foreclosure or owned by a bank. In Nevada, more than one in five homes sold in July were repossessed properties.

This is likely affecting the number of homes being purchased with cash in two ways. First, distressed homes can be bought at a significant discount — a median of just $52,000 in Michigan, for example. Second, “By nature, with distressed sales, besides the fact that it’s low-priced, when you buy a foreclosure property at the public foreclosure auction, in most states, you do have to pay cash there. No matter what the price, you do have to pay cash,” Bloomquist added.

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Based on data provided by RealtyTrac, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 states where the largest percentage of homes sold in July were purchased with cash. RealtyTrrac also provided median list price, as well as data on bank-owned sales, short sales and institutional sales for the states and the largest metro areas. All data is as of July 2013.

These are the states where the most homebuyers pay cash.

10. Hawaii
> Pct. cash sales: 44.3%
> Median list price: $429,900 (the highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 2.3% (7th lowest)

While nearly half of all home sales in Hawaii in July were cash sales, the state has little in common with other states on this list. Unlike other states where home buyers pay cash, just 2.3% of homes bought in Hawaii in July were acquired by institutional buyers. Instead, institutional investors largely focused on buying commercial properties, with substantial activity in buying retail locations, rental facilities and showcase hotels. And again unlike other states, Hawaii had fewer homes sold at a loss and very few homes sold by banks — sales that are typically conducted in cash. One reason many buyers may choose to pay cash is that the Hawaiian market is expensive — the July median list price of $429,900 was the highest in the nation — and many homes may only be affordable for the truly wealthy.

9. New Jersey
> Pct. cash sales: 45.0%
> Median list price: $279,900 (5th highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 3.1% (9th lowest)

Roughly 45% of homes sold in New Jersey in July were cash sales, above the 40% nationwide. However, just over 3% of homes sold in New Jersey were sales to institutional investors, versus 9.1% nationwide. Sales of those types of homes that are frequently conducted in cash, including bank-owned and short-sold homes, were less common in New Jersey relative to the rest of the United States as well. However, many homes placed for sale in the state were fairly expensive — the median list price of nearly $280,000 was among the highest in the nation. Wealth may explain many of the buyers’ abilities to purchase a house in cash as New Jersey had one of the highest median incomes in the nation as of 2011.

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8. Ohio
> Pct. cash sales: 47.0%
> Median list price: $118,900 (the lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 7.0% (23rd highest)

Ohio had among the highest rates for distressed property sales in July, at 16% of all homes sold. A short sale means the prior owner’s mortgage balance exceeds the sales value of the home. Additionally, 15% of homes sold in the state were bank-owned, more than all but three other states. Like many states where home buyers are paying all cash, the number of distressed home sales had an impact on the state’s median home price. Ohio had the nation’s lowest median list price in July, at $118,900. Cash sales were widespread in some of the state’s largest cities, representing 44% of all purchases in the Cleveland area, and 47% in Cincinnati.

7. Arizona
> Pct. cash sales: 47.8%
> Median list price: $192,500 (22nd highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 14.6% (3rd highest)

Fifteen percent of available properties in July were purchased by institutional investors, more than in all but two other states. This is actually down from a year earlier, when Arizona led the nation with 19.8% of all the state’s sales acquired by institutional investors. Several other types of transactions usually completed in cash were also popular in the state. More than 17% of homes bought in the state in July were bank-owned, one of the highest percentages in the nation. Similarly, short-sales accounted for more than 18% of sales, also among the highest. In Tucson, 57% of all July home sales were paid in full up front.

6. Georgia
> Pct. cash sales: 49.5%
> Median list price: $169,500 (21st lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 22.2% (the highest)

Georgia has become the preferred destination for institutional investors. They were the buyers for more than 22% of all home sales in July, the highest proportion in the nation. Many of these sales were in the Atlanta metro area, which led the nation in homes sales going to institutional investors with 25% of all residential properties sold. Also fueling the high proportion of cash purchases, nearly 15% of all homes sold in Georgia in July were bank-owned, one of the highest rates in the nation.

5. South Carolina
> Pct. cash sales: 49.9%
> Median list price: $164,039 (19th lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 13.7% (6th highest)

Relatively few of South Carolina’s cash sales were of distressed properties. Just under 7% of homes sold were bank-owned, higher than most states but still below the 9% nationwide. Further, 13.6% of sales were short sales, meaning they likely were sold for cash, which is in line with the national figure. However, the market has been fairly popular with investors. Institutional investor purchases accounted for almost 14% of all home sales, higher than all but a handful of states. In Greeneville, institutional investors accounted for nearly 20% of all purchases, the fourth-highest proportion of any large metro area.

4. Michigan
> Pct. cash sales: 53.1%
> Median list price: $129,900 (4th lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 10.5% (9th highest)

In Michigan, “prices are so low that in a lot of cases, it doesn’t even make sense for buyers to get financing,” according to RealtyTrac’s Blomquist. The state had one of the lowest median home prices in the nation, while home prices in Detroit were lower in June than they were in 2000. Nearly two-thirds of homes purchased in the Detroit metro area were paid for in cash, while 26% of homes sold were bank-owned, more than any major metropolitan area in the nation. Despite Michigan’s continued economic struggles, some institutional investors were willing to invest in the state’s housing market. Just over 10% of homes sold in Michigan during July were bought by institutional buyers.

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3. Maine
> Pct. cash sales: 59.5%
> Median list price: $209,950 (20th highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 3.3% (10th lowest)

Maine is a fairly small housing market, and it has not attracted much attention from institutional home buyers, which accounted for just 3.3% of sales last month. However, nearly 60% of homes sold in Michigan in July were paid for in cash, well above the 16% just the month before. Much of this activity may be the result of the uptick in cash purchases in Portland, which jumped from 13% of sales in June to 59% of sales in July. The jump in cash purchases in Maine may have been an anomaly, although local real estate agents have noted that home sales and sales prices have risen considerably.

2. Nevada
> Pct. cash sales: 64.4%
> Median list price: $185,000 (24th highest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 15.6% (2nd highest)

Nevada home prices tanked during the Great Recession. This left many homeowners in dire straits, as many had outstanding mortgage balances well in excess of their home values. In July, more than 35% of sales were short sales, the highest percentage in the nation. A collapsing local economy also led many homeowners to default. Nearly 21% of homes sold in July were bank-owned, the highest in the country. As a result, many homes sold were inexpensive enough for buyers to pay for them in cash. Demand from investors for these properties was also fairly high, with 15.6% of July home sales listing an institutional investor as the buyer. This may have something to do with the the gambling capital’s global appeal, which attracts international investors, said Blomquist.

1. Florida
> Pct. cash sales: 65.8%
> Median list price: $159,900 (18th lowest)
> Pct. institutional sales: 14.4% (4th highest)

Home prices plummeted in Florida during the recession, from a peak median listing price of $299,00 in June 2006 to as low as $124,000 in December 2010. Prices were still very low in the state as recently as July. That month, institutional investment made up a large part of total sales, at over 14% of all purchases. The state, according to RealtyTrac’s Blomquist, has attracted much attention from international investors. This is particularly the case in the Miami area, he noted, where cash sales accounted for 69% of all purchases. In Tampa Bay, institutional investors bought 22% of all homes sold that month, more than any major metropolitan area besides Atlanta.

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Home equity offers make a comeback, but be careful

The comeback in home values means more people can tap into quick cash through home equity loans to pay for college, credit card debt or even redo a driveway.

Jo and Bronce Click of Dearborn Heights, Mich., took out a $12,000 home equity line of credit about two weeks ago specifically to pay for a driveway that’s estimated to cost about $7,000. She obtained the loan through her credit union at a rate of 5.25 percent — or 200 basis points plus the prime rate, now at 3.25 percent.

“It seemed like the logical option versus using a credit card. The interest rate on a credit card is ridiculous,” said Jo Click, a graphic designer.

The Clicks are on the front end of a rising trend in home equity lending.

Community banks, credit unions and major banks have shown renewed interest in making the loans and offering lines of credit, as home values climb in many markets.

Originations of home equity loans exploded in the second quarter, according to credit reporting agency Experian. Experian reported that $29.4 billion in home equity lines of credit were originated in April, May and June — up from $22.1 billion for 2013’s first three months.

Consumers who want to borrow against the house need to understand that rules have changed and a few more chores are required to qualify for that loan. Lending standards are tighter than the go-go years. Consumers can save money by shopping around for the best rates on the Internet and with local small lenders who may offer even more competitive rates.

The average rate on a home equity loan is 6.14 percent. The average rate on a home equity line of credit is 4.99 percent, according to Bankrate.com.

The trick, as always, is to have enough equity in the house.

Take a home valued at $100,000 with a mortgage of $70,000. The homeowner would have $30,000 in equity, but forget about trying to borrow $25,000 or $30,000. In many cases, the homeowner would only be able to borrow $10,000 through a home equity loan.

Many lenders want the homeowner to retain 20 percent equity in the house even after taking out a home equity loan or line of credit.

“The lender is not lending every last nickel of property value,” said Greg McBride, senior analyst for Bankrate.com.

During the boom, it was possible to borrow 80 percent of the home’s value on the first mortgage and then borrow the other 20 percent on a home equity product. But now it’s going to be hard to borrow more than 80 percent of the value of your home, including on the first mortgage.

Expect some sort of appraisal on the home. The timeframe for obtaining the home equity loan can range from about two weeks to roughly 30 days.

Homeowners generally need a credit score of 720 or higher. They’ll need to verify employment, offer proof of income and shop harder to find a home equity loan for $10,000.

Some lenders no longer offer small home equity loans or lines, either.

Discover Financial Services’ new home equity loans, for example, range from $25,000 to $100,000.

Bank of America’s minimum for a home equity loan is $25,000 as well.

Wells Fargo, one of the major players, said it offers home equity loans with a minimum loan amount of $20,000.

A home equity loan can help consumers with a “life event,” such as taking on a home improvement project or even consolidating higher-cost credit card debt to get out of debt. For any of these loans to work, a homeowner cannot owe more on the house already than the house is worth.

Kelly Kockos, senior vice president and home equity product manager for Wells Fargo, said qualifications for getting a home equity loan are more stringent today than they were in the past. Homeowners need to verify their income and provide documents to validate their financial profile.

Susan Tompor is the personal finance columnist for the Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at ?stomporfreepress.com.

[…]