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Hall of Famers: Dollhouse, Hot Wheels, blanket

ROCHESTER, N.Y. | Is Linus jumping for joy?

The blanket, an all-purpose plaything as well as a comfort for generations of thumb-suckers like Charlie Brown’s friend in the “Peanuts” comic strip, landed Thursday in the National Toy Hall of Fame along with Hot Wheels and the dollhouse.

The trio take their places at the Strong, a children’s and cultural history museum in upstate New York, alongside 46 classics ranging from the bicycle, kite and teddy bear to Barbie, Jack-in-the-Box and Mr. Potato Head.

Longevity is a key criterion for getting into the 13-year-old hall, which was acquired in 2002 from A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village in Salem, Ore. Each toy must be widely recognized, foster learning, creativity or discovery through play, and endure in popularity for generations.


More mortgage firms agree to state reforms

ALBANY | More national mortgage companies agreed Thursday to new internal practices aimed at protecting borrowers as they face foreclosure.

Benjamin Lawsky, New York state’s superintendent of financial services, said Morgan Stanley, Saxon American Home Mortgage and Vericrest Financial will end several practices.

They include “robo-signing” affidavits that say documents were reviewed when they weren’t and sending borrowers directly into foreclosure, even when they are trying to modify their loans to save their homes.

Mr. Lawsky said this is the same set of rules previously agreed to by Goldman Sachs Bank, Ocwen Financial and Litton Loan Servicing.

“These new reforms are now spreading out into the industry at a time when homeowners truly need relief in the wake of the financial crisis,” he said. He commended the companies for leading the industry and urged other companies to follow.


H&R Block’s plans to acquire TaxACT stopped

A federal judge stopped H&R Block’s plans to acquire the creator of TaxACT software because she found it would reduce competition in the do-it-yourself tax preparation market.

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