Northern California

California’s default rate soars to 9.5%

(LA TIMES)   About 1 in 10 Californians with a home loan is now in default, and there’s growing evidence that the mortgage meltdown is spreading to commercial real estate.

The home mortgage delinquency rate — the percentage of borrowers who have missed several payments and are in the first stage of foreclosure — climbed in June to 9.5% in California and 9.9% in Los Angeles County, according to First American CoreLogic.

The staggering number of home mortgage defaults probably will lead to large numbers of foreclosures through at least this year, housing experts say.

“It’s probably a given we’ll see a high number of foreclosures in the next couple of quarters due to the level of defaults plus the recession and jobs lost. There’s plenty more pain to come,” said Andrew LePage, an analyst for real estate research firm MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

Mortgage defaults are more likely to result in foreclosure when borrowers owe more on their homes than they are currently worth — commonly called being “upside down” or “underwater” in industry lingo.

That’s the case for many in California who bought homes during the real estate bubble, often with little or even no money down.

When distressed borrowers have equity, they often can sell the property to cover the outstanding mortgage. For upside-down borrowers, that’s usually not an option.

In recent months, about 60% of California mortgages in default ended up foreclosed, LePage said.

Foreclosures should pick up even more now that various government moratoriums and voluntary foreclosure freezes by lenders have expired.

But LePage said the rate of foreclosures may not reach the record level set last year if lenders increase loan modifications or approve more “short sales,” in which homes are sold for less than their mortgage amounts.

The mortgage delinquency rate in June was up sharply from a year ago, when 6% of California mortgages were delinquent and 5.2% in Los Angeles County were in default.

In May 2009, the state default rate was 9.2% and the Los Angeles County rate was 9.5%, according to First American CoreLogic.

At the same time, the California Mortgage Bankers Assn. reported a surge in the number of commercial real estate loans in default. The total number of delinquent commercial loans remains small — only 14 of 6,497 loans in the statewide survey — but industry analysts say more defaults are on the way.

Low interest rates are enabling many commercial borrowers to stay current on loans, but that’s certain to change if rates rise, and a high percentage of office, retail and apartment buildings are already underwater.

“There’s no question we’re going to see more commercial properties end up in restructuring; the question is how much,” said Dan Fasulo, managing director of Real Capital Analytics, a New York research firm.

Fasulo said lenders are trying to avoid foreclosures on commercial properties partly because they don’t want to take on properties they would have trouble selling.

“They’re saying, ‘If we foreclose now, what are we going to do with it?’ This is the worst market to sell property in modern times.”

Lenders have been making allowances to upside-down borrowers, hoping to keep from foreclosing long enough for commercial real estate values to recover, Fasulo said. There’s now a popular street term for the practice, he said: “extend and pretend.”

Wal-Mart weighs role in U.S. H1N1 vaccination plans

ORLANDO, Florida (7/30/09 Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc is discussing with U.S. health officials the possibility of putting vaccination sites at some of its stores for an H1N1 swine flu inoculation campaign this fall, a company official said on Thursday.

Federal officials met with Wal-Mart executives on Wednesday in Arkansas to discuss the issue, Dr. John Agwunobi, president of health and wellness for Wal-Mart U.S., told public health leaders at a conference in Orlando.

“We are in discussions with CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and others in local and state departments to see what role we might play,” Agwunobi said. “It might be we are a site. It may be help with logistics and with supply chain.”

Agwunobi said 140 million people walk through the doors of its 4,000 U.S. stores each week.

U.S. health advisers have said about half the U.S. population should be vaccinated against H1N1 influenza. Up to 160 million doses of flu vaccine will be available for the start of the campaign in mid-October.

The H1N1 swine flu, characterized by mild symptoms in most patients, is now so widespread that the World Health Organization has stopped counting cases.

Speaking at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) annual conference, Agwunobi also said Wal-Mart is planning to be a site this fall for seasonal flu vaccinations, administered by a third-party, at stores in most parts of the country.


Tamiflu causes sickness and nightmares in children, study finds

Children report a range of side-effects, but the official advice is that Tamiflu is safe

Children report a range of side-effects, but the official advice is that Tamiflu is safe

(7/31/09 – Times Online) More than half of children taking the swine flu drug Tamiflu experience side-effects such as nausea and nightmares, research suggests.

An estimated 150,000 people with flu symptoms were prescribed the drug through a new hotline and website last week, according to figures revealed yesterday.

Studies of children attending three schools in London and one in the South West showed that 51-53 per cent had one or more side-effects from the medication, which is offered to everyone in England with swine flu symptoms.

The research by the Health Protection Agency emerged as Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said that swine flu infections “may have reached a plateau”.
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Releasing the latest figures, Sir Liam said that an estimated 110,000 new cases of the H1N1 virus were diagnosed by doctors in the week to Sunday. That did not include those using the new National Pandemic Flu Service for England to obtain antiviral drugs without seeing their GP.

Sir Liam said that the deaths of 27 people in England were confirmed to have been linked to swine flu, compared with 26 last week. As of Wednesday morning 793 people were in hospital in England with the virus, and 81 were in intensive care.

Yesterday Natasha Newman, 16, of Highgate, North London, was seriously ill in hospital in Athens after contracting swine flu while on holiday on the island of Cephalonia. Her parents, Julian Newman and Nikki Boughton, were at her bedside at the Agia Sofia children’s hospital, said a spokeswoman for Mr Newman’s business, J. Newman Textiles. “This is a very distressing and worrying time,” she said.

Peter Holden, the British Medical Association’s lead expert on swine flu, suggested that Tamiflu was being overused and did not need to be offered to everyone with mild symptoms. “The National Pandemic Flu Service has been a great success, and was needed to take the pressure off GPs,” he said. “But the threshold for getting Tamiflu should be quite high.

“For patients who are not in the high-risk groups — such as pregnant women, people with bad asthma or with suppressed immune systems — this virus typically causes mild symptoms and does not require a course of Tamiflu. Patients in the at-risk groups should be referred to their GP, who will use their clinical judgment.”

A total of 103 children took part in the London study, of which 85 were given the drug as a precaution after a classmate received a diagnosis of swine flu. Of those, 45 experienced one or more side-effects. The most common was nausea (29 per cent), followed by stomach pain or cramps (20 per cent) and problems sleeping (12 per cent). Almost one in five had a “neuropsychiatric side-effect”, such as inability to think clearly, nightmares and “behaving strangely”, according to the research, published in Eurosurveillance, a journal of disease.

The study was carried out in April and May when the drug was being issued as a preventive measure. The findings were echoed by a study of children at a school in the South West where a pupil had caught the disease in Mexico.

Health officials in Japan have recommended against prescribing Tamiflu to teenagers over fears it causes a rise in “neuropsychiatric events”. The researchers said that clinical trials had shown that about 20 per cent of adults reported side-effects of either nausea or vomiting after taking Tamiflu.

Both the Department of Health and the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory products Agency said that the drug was safe, and that the benefits of treating early symptoms and avoiding potentially serious complications could outweigh the risks of side-effects.

Sir Liam said that despite a 10 per cent rise in the estimated number of cases in the week to Sunday, the latest figures reinforced “a growing impression we have had a peak”. He said that a surge would still be expected in the winter flu season, but added: “I think we are a little more confident we may be seeing a downturn in this flu.”

Scale of the outbreak

— 110,000 new swine flu cases in England last week, based on data from GPs

— 150,000 people obtaining Tamiflu without seeing a GP since last Thursday

— 51% to 53% proportion of children reporting side-effects from taking Tamiflu

— 1 in 158 people in England have contacted their GP with flu-like symptoms since outbreaks began. The rate is 1 in 77 for children aged 1 to 4


Florida man sees fake newscast, security exercise, calls police

(7/31/09 – Kansascity.com) A nationwide government anti-terrorism exercise this week inadvertently alarmed a Florida man who happened to catch a mock television broadcast that was part of the drill.

The Homeland Security Department coordinated the five-day exercise, which simulated “real life” scenarios, and included an internal broadcast of fake news with top officials discussing the “threat” and the “actions” the government was taking.

A man in West Palm Beach somehow managed to view part of the broadcast, became alarmed and called authorities, according to an official, who was not authorized to discuss details of the glitch and requested anonymity.

The Homeland Security Department said when it learned a member of the public had accessed the signal, “the decision was made to stop utilizing the signal for the remainder of the exercise.”

The content of the mock news reports was alarming, but also contained a prominent graphic saying it was part of a government exercise. “The citizen contacted the phone number provided on the screen and was told not to worry, that what he was seeing was a training exercise,” the DHS statement said.

Officials said they are reviewing the incident to make sure it doesn’t happen again.


Truther Wake Up Call: Be Ready in Your Minds

(RADAR PRESS)   The truth movement, which came alive out of the smoke and ashes of 9/11, on the surface seems to be waiting and ready for when Big Brother pounces in it’s task of removing our individual sovereignty. But are we ready for what is about to explode upon our lives?

It is no doubt one thing to talk the talk but when it comes to walking the walk I can say with much confidence and sorrow that 90% of those involved in the attempt to expose the dark evil of the governments of this world have absolutely no idea what is about to come upon them when the elite make there final move.

As is stated and well known throughout the movement looms the evidence that the elite love to tell us what they are going to do before they do it. Which when one has enough puzzle pieces before him it makes it fairly easy to predict the next event or their next move.

Donald Rumsfeld told us what was going to come upon those who oppose or stand in the way of their plan for world government; Shock and Awe; Your worst unimagined nightmare; Bombs bursting in air and body parts flying by your head with your favorite fragrance of death burning in your nostrils. Honestly what the hell do you think is coming to a town near you, a circus?!

So as we bicker and moan amongst ourselves day in and day out, which gleams evidence that there is very little solidarity holding this cyber group of ours together, can you really say that you are prepared for Shock and Awe? Our minds are powerful enough to buckle the knees of the toughest guys you know. Will you even have the power to stand up without pissing your pants when an amped up soldier is aiming a weapon at your head? What if it’s a foreign troop?

It’s time to ask yourselves if you are truly ready for this psychological hell that is soon to be Shock and Awed upon our spoiled asses.

Are we stocking our minds with steel barriers in preparation for what is about to come? I can say with surety it is not going to be the tooth fairy that shows up in our town when it does go down. Do you have the mental power to not fold over into the fetal position when this monster explodes viciously in your face. 90% of us ARE GOING TO STAND IN LINE to get food from them and if it means taking a vaccine to eat well you can BET! Those who vowed in their own mind they would not, most certainly will.

We can’t fathom WW2 happening at our front door can we? It can’t possibly happen here and if it does well it’ll be a nice safe video game that we can just shut off when we are tired.

Prepare yourselves mentally SOON and expect nothing less than shock and awe remembering what Jack McLamb predicted saying, “It is going to come to the point when the people beg for martial law…”

And without a doubt some of you will be offended by my prediction but bet that you will be among those that fold. Instead of wasting your energy getting hostile with me you’d better save that gumption for when the time comes and you find yourself pissing your pants.

Are we psychologically ready for Shock and Awe? No -Mike@RadarPress

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