Vermont Attorney General William H Sorrell announced today that Countrywide Financial Corporation, now a part of Bank of America, has entered into a settlement with his Office to resolve any claims that the State of Vermont may have concerning Countrywide’s origination of home loans in past years. Countrywide will pay about $100,000 to the State of Vermont for foreclosure relief, half of which will go to specific borrowers whose Countrywide loans were foreclosed upon, and the remainder for general foreclosure relief efforts. The settlement is similar to those entered into by other states, including states that alleged that Countrywide engaged in predatory lending practices.The settlement confirms Countrywide’s current commitment to offering loan modifications—reductions in interest rates, for instance—under certain circumstances to Vermonters with subprime “hybrid” adjustable rate mortgages, other subprime first mortgages, and “pay option” adjustable rate mortgages. (Hybrid loans have an interest rate that resets after a specified number of years; under pay option loans, the borrower has the choice of making one of several different kinds of monthly payments, such as a minimum payment, an interest-only payment, or a fully amortizing payment.) These types of loans have been associated with the national mortgage foreclosure crisis.Source: March 31, 2010. Vermont Attorney General.
ATP, Danish Investment Funds Association, UK Treasury, Department for Work & Pensions, Jim O’Neill, Ros AltmannATP – ATP’s head of press, pensions and investment, Anders Klinkby Madsen, is moving to the Danish Investment Funds Association (Investeringsfondsbranchen or IFB) to lead the industry body as chief executive from 1 August. The association said that, with the appointment, it was expanding its management in response to growth in the organisation, as well as an increase in the demands placed on it over the last 10-15 years. The IFB’s current director Jens Jørgen Holm Møller will continue in his role alongside Klinkby, focusing particularly on the technical aspects of work within the sector and continuing to represent Denmark within a Nordic, as well as an international, context, the organisation said.UK Treasury – Former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill has been appointed commercial secretary at the UK Treasury by re-elected Conservative prime minister David Cameron. He will also be given a life peerage. Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne, outlining his plans to boost economic activity in the North of England, has said O’Neill will work on devolving power from government, delivering big infrastructure investments and links to emerging economies. UK Department for Work & Pensions – In UK government appointments following last week’s Conservative victory in the general election, Iain Duncan Smith has been re-appointed as secretary of state for work and pensions, while Lord Freud, a Conservative member of the House of Lords, is to continue as minister for welfare reform. Priti Patel has been appointed minister for employment. She was exchequer secretary to the Treasury from July 2014 to May 2015. Ros Altmann, a high-profile independent analyst and commentator on pensions, has become the new minister for pensions, replacing Liberal Democrat Steve Webb, who lost his seat in the election. Altmann is to be given a life peerage. Justin Tomlinson has been given the role of minister for disabled people.
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP):Cricket South Africa (CSA) says India and Australia will both tour for four-Test series in late 2017 and early 2018.CSA announced part of their fixtures for next season on Thursday with trips by Bangladesh, India and Australia all confirmed.Bangladesh will play two Tests, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games in September and October 2017.Australia will be in South Africa in February and March 2018 for four Tests, with exact dates still to be worked out.India will likely travel in late 2017, although CSA didn’t announce dates for the No. 1-ranked team’s test, ODI and T20 tour. South Africa normally hosts a test series over the year-end holidays but there’s been doubt as to whether India was willing to tour at that time.