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VOL. 128 | NO. 194 | Friday, October 04, 2013

Daily Digest

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Bartlett Heights Owner Files $2.1 Million Loan

The owner of the 173-unit Bartlett Heights apartment complex at 6126 Stage Road in Bartlett has filed a $2.1 million loan on the property.

Mid South Partners filed the deed of trust, assignment of rents, security agreement and fixture filing Sept. 27 through Triumph Bank.

Built in 1972, the Class C multifamily property contains 168,542 square feet and sits on 12.6 acres along the north side of Stage Road near its intersection with Elmore Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $5.2 million.

F. William Hackmeyer signed the trust deed as authorized partner.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Daily News staff

Government Shutdown Felt in Myriad Ways

In a meeting with a lender in Baltimore this week, the chief economist of FTN Financial – the capital markets subsidiary of First Tennessee Bank – was told they are suspending mortgage lending for the duration of the government shutdown.

That’s because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac want income verification on every loan from the IRS, but only IRS workers processing tax payments are considered “essential” and still on the job during the shutdown, FTN Financial chief economist Chris Low said. He added there are also problems getting flood insurance.

In other spillover effects from the shutdown, this week’s jobs report is expected to be delayed because of government employees who normally handle that work being furloughed.

On the floor of the U.S. Senate Wed., Oct. 2, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., warned against Republicans focusing too much on the “shiny object” in the form of the president’s health care law in the rush to negotiate a solution to the shutdown.

“I’m concerned that so much focus has been placed on the ‘shiny object,’ the health care law, as it relates to the (continuing resolution) that our focus has been taken off the gains that we’ve made in controlling spending,” Corker said. “Sometimes when people find themselves in a box canyon or in a place that is difficult, people begin doing things that are not in the best long-term interests. My message to the House would be: Whatever you have to do to cobble together 218 votes to pass a bill relative to the (continuing resolution) and the debt ceiling, please do not negotiate away the hard-won gains that we were able to put in place to reduce spending and to help make our country stronger.”

– Andy Meek

City Attorney Morris Recognized for Service

City attorney Herman Morris Jr. is the 2013 recipient of the International Municipal Lawyers Association’s Joseph I. Mulligan Jr. Distinguished Public Service Award, which recognizes a local government attorney for achievements in local government law.

The association presented the award at its 78th annual conference.

Morris, the first attorney from Memphis to receive this award, was given the honor following the $7.5 million-dollar settlement of a city-county lawsuit against Wells Fargo over discriminatory lending practices; challenging the state’s voter ID law to allow Memphis residents to use library cards for identification; settling the legal battle over Beale Street; and launching an effort to sue the owners of blighted, neglected and abandoned properties.

"It is always an honor to be recognized by your peers," said Morris. "I am humbled, but know this award was due to the hard work of our fine city of Memphis legal department."

The nonprofit International Municipal Lawyers Association is based in the Washington, D.C. area and claims more than 1,400 members across the United States and Canada.

– Amos Maki

Magna Bank App Allows Remote Check Deposits

Magna Bank has joined the list of Memphis financial institutions that let customers snap photos of checks to deposit them in the bank.

Mobile deposit at Magna is now available through a new version of the bank’s mobile app. The new service lets customers use their mobile phone or tablet to a take a photo of a check, which is then deposited into the customer’s account.

Customers won’t be charged for the service. Other features in the new version of Magna’s app include viewing balances, transferring funds, searching account activity, paying bills and searching for bank and ATM locations.

The app can be downloaded for iPhone or iPad from Apple’s App Store or for Android devices – except Kindle tablets – from the Google Play Store.

– Andy Meek

Former City Official Pearson Remembered

Claude Pearson, the director of sanitation services and labor negotiator for the city of Memphis, was remembered Wednesday, Oct. 2, in a funeral service.

Pearson, 73, died Sept. 28.

He was an appointed city official under Memphis Mayors Henry Loeb, Wyeth Chandler and Dick Hackett. His posts included serving as director of sanitation services when Memphis went to curbside garbage collection. Prior to that, sanitation workers had picked up garbage in the backyards of homes.

Pearson was also integrally involved in labor negotiations in the mid-1970s, including bitter negotiations with police and fire union leaders in 1977, followed by the strikes by police and firefighters in 1978. Pearson was also on the city’s side of the bargaining table in the resolution to the strikes.

Pearson’s service as an elected official was as an alderman in Bartlett.

– Bill Dries

September Jobs Report Delayed by Shutdown

The Labor Department says it will not release the highly anticipated September jobs report on Friday because the government remains shuttered.

The announcement Thursday was mostly a formality. A postponement of the most critical measures of the economy's health was widely expected after the shutdown began. The report includes the unemployment rate and the net number of jobs employers added to payrolls last month. The department said no alternative release date has been set.

Economists forecast that the economy added 180,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate stayed at 7.3 percent, according to a survey by FactSet.

– The Associated Press

Average 30-Year Mortage Rate Drops to 4.22 Percent

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell for the third straight week to their lowest point in three months, as a decline in consumer confidence and the onset of the government shutdown forced rates down.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 4.22 percent from 4.32 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan declined to 3.29 percent from 3.37 percent.

Both are the lowest averages since early July.

Rates began to fall last month after the Federal Reserve held off slowing its $85-billion-a-month in bond buys, which have kept rates low. They fell further this week as the shutdown prompted investors to sell stocks and buy Treasury bonds. Mortgage rates tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.

The 10-year note traded at 2.63 percent Thursday morning, down from 2.71 percent on Sept. 23.

The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees about 30 percent of U.S. home mortgages, says that if the partial shutdown continues for an extended period and the agency's funding runs out, it wouldn't be able to continue approving loans.

In that case, "We do expect that potential homeowners will be impacted, as well as home sellers and the entire housing market," the FHA said in a contingency plan.

Buyers wouldn't disappear. But some would linger in limbo until the government reopened and a backlog of applications cleared.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 66 180 11,618
MORTGAGES 81 223 15,202
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 21 68 2,979
BUILDING PERMITS 0 392 27,646
BANKRUPTCIES 90 218 11,180
BUSINESS LICENSES 26 63 4,101
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 99 422 16,906
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 62 3,526

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