Why is one homeless guy getting so much attention, your walking speed indicates how long you'll live, the Internet is more popular than TV, who's on steroids, and President Michele Bachmann?
Updating the morning mention of Ted Williams, the former DJ turned homeless person: The Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team has hired him fulltime and, he says, given him a house.
Here's video of his appearance on an Ohio radio station this morning.(2 Comments)
When last we left Vicki Hugen of Eden Prairie, she was trying to convince the bank that services the mortgage on her home to modify the mortgage. Wells Fargo had initially agreed to about a $2,000 a month mortgage, so she accepted her ex-husband's offer to take his share of the house in lieu of alimony. Then, the bank dropped her from the loan modification program and offered her a monthly payment over $3,000, which she couldn't afford. (Find the whole story here)
Things haven't changed much since I wrote about it last fall. The Minnesota attorney general's office said there wasn't much they could do other than send a letter to the bank suggesting it do something. The bank hasn't changed its offer, and thousands of dollars in late fees and penalties are piling up.
"I really don't have much of a plan now," she told me today. "Now I'm just getting random offers (from the bank). Each one starts out, 'this is to confirm the modification we discussed.' But I haven't talked to anyone. "
She says if her mortgage can be modified (she says she can afford about $2,300 a month), the fees and penalties would be removed, she could put the house on the market, sell it, and much of her mortgage could be paid off and she could "get out."
"I thought I was taking a reasonable settlement after the divorce. I'd like to be able to sell the house and end up not owing them 30 grand (in fees," she said. Filing bankruptcy is an option.
Hugen's story, of course, is being repeated thousands and thousands of times all over the United States. These aren't the old days when one could sit down with the banker who owns the mortgage. In Hugen's case, Bank of America actually owns her mortgage. Or does it?
Consider this chart, which popped up online in November when a homeowner "reverse engineered" who owned the mortgage:
Somewhere in there, something may make sense.
It was announced last week that the annual "think-off" in New York Mills this year is "Does poetry matter?".
This shouldn't take long.
Kwame Dawes has been traveling to Haiti since the earthquake one year ago next Wednesday. He's turned his findings into poetry. Who wants to argue against its impact?
In Haiti, meanwhile, reporters who flocked to the island when the earthquake hit, are flocking there again to tell you what's changed. Jeb Sharp of PRI's The World today writes:
But even with all the anger and frustration and grief, life goes on, and it's not as if nothing is being accomplished. You can hear the sounds of building around the city, non-governmental organizations are working hard to tackle the cholera crisis, parts of the economy are humming with dollars from outside that accompany the huge influx of aid workers and others who are here to help Haiti recover. And there are people who see a silver lining or two. In the days after the earthquake there was a sense of Haitians coming together, even across the stark divisions of class that mark this society. People slept in the open without fear of strangers because everyone was facing what felt like an apocalyptic moment together. Several people have described the earthquake as a moment when the world seemed to be coming to an end. That togetherness has receded, but having glimpsed it, some Haitians want to reach for it again, to try to harness it for a greater good.
"That togetherness has receded." It usually does.