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VOL. 124 | NO. 165 | Monday, August 24, 2009

Daily Digest

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Funeral Home and Office Sell for $3.4 Million

A Berclair commercial portfolio anchored by the High Point Funeral Chapel sold Aug. 10 for $3.4 million in an internal transaction. The seller, G. David Keller, is listed as president and owner of the funeral home at 3788 Summer Ave.

The buyer, HPC Services Inc., lists another person, Charlotte McElveen, who is related to the chapel. A call to the funeral home for comment was not immediately returned.

Also included in the sale was an office building at 3744 Summer Ave., two doors west of the funeral home. Prior to the sale of that office property to HPC Services, G. David Keller bought the 1,620-square-foot building for $200,000 from John and Kaye Brasfield.

HPC Services filed six loans in conjunction with the portfolio acquisition, four of which were through Trustmark National Bank and two of which were through the seller, G. David Keller. The company took out loans of $1.6 million, $662,500, $600,000 and $397,500 through Trustmark. And it took out loans of $650,000 and $265,000 through Keller.

Built in 1969, the 8,700-square-foot funeral home sits on 1.43 acres on the north side of Summer Avenue at the intersection of Isabelle Street. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2009 appraisal is $502,300.

The office building sits on 0.24 acres, also on the north side of Summer Avenue. Built in 1945, its most recent appraisal was $98,300.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

MAAR Commercial Council Names 2010 Officers

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Council announced Friday that Wyatt Aiken of Commercial Advisors will serve as 2010 president and Ron Riley of In-Rel Management will serve as 2010 president-elect.

Aiken and Riley were confirmed as next year’s officers at the council’s Aug. 6 annual meeting. Their positions are effective Jan. 1.

In addition to the top two officers, MAAR’s Commercial Council elected the following to serve as directors for 2010 and 2011: Scott Barton of CB Richard Ellis (2010 vice president and 2011 director), John Mercer of Highwoods Properties (2010 director and 2011 vice president), Eric Fuhrman of Crye-Leike Commercial (two-year director) and J. Hickman of Colliers Management Services (two-year director).

Irvin Skopp of Belz Enterprises (2010 immediate-past president), Janet Slawson of MMIC Inc. (2010 director) and Tom Hutton of Boyle Investment Co. (2010 director) will continue to serve on the board.

Chapter representatives Jeb Fields of Commercial Advisors, Terry Benskin of LEDIC Management Co., Glen Bascom of Bascom Realty and Steve Guinn of Highwoods Properties will serve on the Commercial Council board for 2010.

July Unemployment Dips in 17 States

The unemployment rate fell in 17 states and the District of Columbia last month, a positive sign even as the pain of joblessness remains widespread.

The rate was 10.7 percent in Tennessee, down 0.1 percent from June.

The U.S. Labor Department reported the jobless rate fell in July in New York, Texas, Minnesota and Virginia, among other states. It increased in 26 states.

Only five states registered declines in June, when the rate rose in 38 states.

The department also said 21 states added jobs in July, compared to only 10 the previous month.

Still, 15 states and the District of Columbia have jobless rates above 10 percent.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in July from 9.5 percent in June.

Bernanke Says US Economy On Cusp of Recovery

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke declared Friday that the U.S. economy is on the verge of a long-awaited recovery after enduring a brutal recession and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Economic activity in both the U.S. and around the world appears to be “leveling out,” and “the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good,” Bernanke said in a speech at an annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

The upbeat assessment was consistent with the Fed’s observations earlier this month. The central bank has taken small steps toward pulling back some emergency programs to revive the economy.

Still, Bernanke stressed Friday that despite much progress in stabilizing financial markets and trying to bust through credit clogs, consumers and businesses are still having trouble getting loans. The situation is not back to normal, he said.

Restoring the free flow of credit is a critical component to a lasting recovery.

The Fed chief’s remarks come two years after the financial crisis broke out and nearly one year after it had deepened to the point of sending the nation into a near meltdown.

In recounting actions by the Fed and the government to battle the crisis, Bernanke didn’t acknowledge any missteps by the central bank and other regulators. Critics have argued that the Wall Street bailouts in particular sent a message that companies that take reckless gambles will be rescued by the government. There’s also the concern that the rescues put taxpayers’ dollars at risk.

But unlike in the 1930s, Washington policymakers this time acted aggressively and quickly to contain the crisis, said Bernanke, a scholar of the Great Depression.

“As severe as the economic impact has been, however, the outcome could have been decidedly worse,” he said.

Cash for Clunkers To End Today

Car shoppers have until tonight to take advantage of lucrative Cash for Clunkers rebates from the government, and the Obama administration is hoping for a smooth ending to a program that has spurred auto sales but created headaches for many auto dealers.

The popular program will end at 7 p.m. CDT today after burning through much of its $3 billion in funding in just a month. All new deals will have to be completed and dealers must file their paperwork by the deadline in order to get repaid for the big incentives.

President Barack Obama and administration officials declared the program a success Thursday, saying it has revitalized the ailing auto industry and finally brought reluctant car buyers back to dealership lots. Originally a $1 billion program, Cash for Clunkers was boosted to $3 billion in early August after heavy customer demand nearly depleted its funds in just one week.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the program has been “a lifeline to the automobile industry, jump starting a major sector of the economy and putting people back to work.” He said the department was “working toward an orderly wind down of this very popular program.”

But it has also created problems for dealers, many of whom have yet to be repaid for the clunker deals they have made. Under the program, dealers take rebates of $3,500 or $4,500 off the price of a new car in return for older, less fuel-efficient trade-ins that are sent to the scrap heap. They then must submit a 13-page application with proper documentation of the sale to get repaid.

That has left many dealers with unpaid claims worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Obama and LaHood pledged that dealers will get their money back. But government data show that many claims are still outstanding. As of Thursday, 457,000 sales worth $1.9 billion had been received. About 40 percent of those claims have been reviewed, but only $140 million, or about 7 percent of the claims dealers submitted, have actually been paid.

Government officials said there were no plans to extend the program again. The Monday deadline was set to avoid surpassing the $3 billion funding level, given deals that may be made this weekend and those that are still in the pipeline for approval.

Applications for rebates will not be accepted after the Monday deadline, administration officials said.

PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047