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Two killed in pawn shop attack


Loan store workers stabbed with sharp object, say policeScene of crime officers cordoned off the Ezy Cash store last night. Photo / Chris Loufte

Police were last night hunting those suspected of stabbing to death two pawn store workers in an armed robbery in South Auckland.

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said the two Ezy Cash loan shop workers suffered “violent deaths” and police were looking for a sharp object.

Police were called to the store in Great South Rd, Takanini, at 1.10pm yesterday after a panic alarm activation. They found two people dead at the back of the premises.

Last night a police cordon surrounded the Ezy Cash loan shop, where the bodies were expected to remain overnight. Road blocks were due to remain in place between Taka St and Glenora Rd while a scene investigation took place.

Wally Thompson, one of the last people to see one of the victims, described a store worker, aged in his 50s, as “a great guy”.

“He was just so helpful.”

He went to Ezy Cash just an hour before the tragedy, but left because he didn’t have the documents he needed. When he returned about 2.30pm, he found police surrounding the scene.

Police interviewed him and another couple also in the shop before the incident. They told the trio they were among the last to see one of the victims alive.

“My interview with the police was like being in a movie. They were being honest with us and they said ‘there’s two people in there that were stabbed’.”

Despite the danger, he wished he had been in the shop when the incident happened. “If that happened I would’ve done something to help him. I couldn’t let that happen.”

Paris Evans, 14, was next door at Super Cheap Auto with friends when the stabbings occurred.

He said he had been told a suspicious van had been parked outside.

“We couldn’t believe this happened. It’s pretty sad.”

Police were appealing for sightings of a Maori or Pacific Island man aged in his 20s and a woman, whose description was not known.

The pair were seen leaving the shop just before police arrived.

“We are in the very early stages of the investigation and currently have very limited knowledge of what occurred at the scene,” said Lynch.

“Police need to identify and speak to these two people to ascertain whether they have any information relating to the incident.”

Police refused to confirm how the pair were killed, or what weapon was used.

The victims had yet to be identified, but police believed they worked at the store.

Anyone with information should call Counties Manukau police on (09) 261 1300 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

Herald on Sunday


JCPenney Draws $875 Million, Faces 'Alarmingly High' Cash Burn Rate, Says Analyst


Shortly after announcing that it

hired advisors

to raise $1 billion to bolster its shrinking cash reserves, JC Penney announced that it

drew $875 million

from its $1.85 billion credit line.

Brian Sozzi, CEO and Chief Equities Strategist at Belus Capital, says that the size of the withdrawal is alarming.

“T he number signals that right this very second, the cash burn rate is alarmingly high after a disappointing first quarter and continued store level modernization efforts,” Sozzi says.

Using the credit line shows that they couldn’t wait to raise new capital through investors, which Sozzi predicted would be necessary in February.

On the other hand it may be alarming that Penney couldn’t withdraw more money. Writes Zerohedge:

More worrisome is the fact that the firm managed to extract only $850 million on $2.3 billion in Inventory: while not completely worthless as we first suspected, it appears JPM is only willing to give JCP credit for about a third of its inventory at liquidation value. Remember that the revolver it is the cheapest financing JCP has in place which raises the question – why not draw more? Ask JPM.

The company’s credit line is an “asset based loan” secured by inventory and accounts receivable. It increased the maximum amount of the loan earlier this year, but hadn’t drawn upon it until now. It comes from a number of banks including units of JP Morgan and Bank of America.

The company can draw on the line of credit at any time, and only pays interest on the amount that it has withdrawn.

CEO Ron Johnson stepped down last week after losing support for a radical turnaround strategy included building boutique-style shop-in-shops in stores and getting rid of promotions.

The company plans to use the money to fund its operations, capital spending, and to buy inventory as it completes renovations on its stores.

The press release seems to confirm that new CEO Mike Ullman isn’t scrapping Ron Johnson’s changes to the company’s stores.

From the release:

As we near completion of the home department transformation in over 500 stores, we have been undertaking and will continue to experience a significant inventory build and increase in capital expenditures.

Even partial execution of Johnson’s strategy is going to require significant cash, so this is just the first step in a longer saga.

JCPenney shares are down nearly 0.7% after trading up 3.5% in pre-market trading before the news.

More From Business Insider

Three More Top JC Penney Executives Have Left
Why CEO Candidates Shouldn’t Even Take An Interview With JCPenney
You Know Ron Johnson Is In Trouble When Even Bill Ackman Is Criticizing Him

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The mortgage loan for fixer-uppers

The housing crisis has left thousands of homes across the country in a state of neglect. Some sit empty after a foreclosure, while others have suffered because their owners haven’t had the money for repairs. But if you live in a home that needs a little TLC or want to purchase a home that needs improvements, the FHA 203(k) program may help you finance those long-needed repairs.

If you’ve been browsing foreclosures, you may already have noticed that many of them need some attention. But if coming up with the cash for a down payment and closing costs is already be depleting your savings, funding a major renovation may be a deterrent to your home purchase. That’s where 203(k) loans come in.

An FHA 203(k) loan requires a down payment of 3.5 percent as all FHA mortgage loans do, but the total loan amount will be based on the sale price plus the estimated costs of the renovation. An appraiser will need to estimate the “as-repaired” value of the home as part of the loan approval process.

Refinancing with an FHA 203(k)

You can also use a 203(k) mortgage loan for refinancing. In the past, many homeowners would take out a home equity loan to pay for home improvements, but now that home values have dropped and mortgage approval guidelines have tightened, many homeowners are unable to qualify for a home equity loan.

But with a 203(k) refinance, you can wrap your refinance and renovation costs into one loan. If you know roughly what your repairs will cost, you can use a mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments based on today’s mortgage rates and the total new loan amount.

FHA 203(k) requirements

Before you apply for a 203(k) loan, you should know its requirements. Here are some of the stipulations of a 203(k) loan:

You must be an owner-occupant because this loan is not available to investors.You must meet typical FHA mortgage loan requirements in terms of your credit score.You must make a down payment of 3.5 percent or have a loan-to-value of at least 97.5 percent if you are refinancing.You will need to pay mortgage insurance premiums both upfront and on a monthly basis. While these insurance premiums can be wrapped into your mortgage payment, they do increase the cost of the loan.FHA 203(k) loan interest rates are typically slightly higher than standard FHA mortgage rates.A supplemental fee of $350 or 1.5 percent of the cost of repairs is required and can be wrapped into the loan balance.The total mortgage loan amount (sale price and repairs) must be under the maximum FHA loan limit for your area.

Borrowers have the option of a streamlined 203(k) loan that allows for a maximum of $35,000 in repairs and cannot include structural repairs. If your renovation costs are higher, you can apply for a standard 203(k) loan. All repairs are limited to items that improve the value of the home, such as a new deck, windows, flooring, appliances or heating and air conditioning system. Luxury improvements such as a swimming pool are not included in this program.

If you opt for an FHA 203(k) loan, real estate experts recommend that you work with lenders and licensed contractors who are familiar with the rules of the program. Interview a few of each to find the ones who best understand your financial needs and goals before you commit.

The original article can be found at
The mortgage loan for fixer-uppers


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