- - Monday, August 22, 2011


More owners at risk of foreclosure

The number of Americans at risk of foreclosure is rising, reflecting the U.S. economy’s continued struggles.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says 8.44 percent of homeowners missed at least one mortgage payment in the April-June quarter. That figure, which is adjusted for seasonal factors, rose 0.12 percentage points from the January-March period.

In a normal market, the percentage of delinquent borrowers is about 1.1 percent, according to the trade group.

Delinquent mortgages have plummeted from a record high of more than 10 percent of residential mortgages a year ago. But the decline is due partly to delays in foreclosure filings that are backlogged in several state courts.

The end of a state and federal investigation into faulty foreclosure paperwork will likely lead to increased foreclosures later this year.


Self-published author gets unusual book deal

NEW YORK — Self-publishing author John Locke has a made an untraditional deal with a traditional publisher.

Simon & Schuster announced Monday that beginning early next year, it will distribute physical editions of Mr. Locke’s Donovan Creed thrillers, which have sold more than 1 million copies as e-books.

Mr. Locke will continue to publish and edit his work, through his own John Locke Books, and the author will maintain full control over the digital versions. His novels include “Lethal People” and “The Love You Crave.”

In a statement issued by Simon & Schuster, Mr. Locke called the agreement an “exciting departure from the norm” of giving the same publisher rights to both e-books and traditional books.


EBay to add 2,200 jobs over 20 years

SALT LAKE CITY — Online auction house eBay says it will expand in Utah again by building a new facility in Draper that will add 2,200 jobs over 20 years.

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development made the announcement Monday after approving a one-time tax incentive package worth $38.2 million.

State officials say the jobs will exceed 125 percent of the average wage in Salt Lake County.

The auction company has existing facilities in Draper and South Jordan that employ about 1,400. The company has had a presence in Utah for 12 years, expanding in 2009 by adding 400 jobs.

The latest deal combines two previous job-based incentives approved in 2009.


Grocery talks resume after vote on strike

LOS ANGELES — Union officials representing grocery workers will return to the bargaining table this month armed with a vote by their rank and file that resoundingly rejected health care proposals by several major supermarket chains.

Rick Icaza, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, said Monday that the weekend’s vote by more than 90 percent of those who cast ballots to rebuff a health proposal from Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons shows the chains how serious workers are about pushing for a better deal.

“I think the employers were testing us as to whether or not they would give us a strike authorization,” Mr. Icaza said at a rally outside a Ralphs’ market where dozens of workers, union staffers and supporters held signs calling on the markets to improve their offer.

The weekend vote automatically authorized union officials to call a strike 72 hours after the markets are given notice. Some 62,000 grocery workers in Southern California were eligible to vote, although the union did not disclose how many had cast ballots.

Bargaining, which has snagged over the chains’ efforts to boost employees’ health insurance contributions, was set to resume Aug. 29, Mr. Icaza said.

Union officials say the health care proposal would significantly increase out-of-pocket costs for workers who already make relatively low wages and would lead to the depletion of the fund that supports the employees’ health care benefits.

“We believe they’re not negotiating in good faith and, unfortunately, that’s going to cause a strike,” he said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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