Banks Paying Out $9.3B Mortgage Settlement

Morning Business Memo…

Big banks will start mailing checks this week to about 4 million victims of mortgage abuses. But most borrowers will get less than $1,000 each as part of a settlement with US regulators. Many may have lost their homes to foreclosure because of processing mistakes. The Federal Reserve and the US Comptroller of the Currency say a total of $3.6 billion will be distributed by banks to more than 4 million borrowers. Payments range from $300 to $125,000. Ninety percent of the payments are supposed go out in the next three weeks. The banks, which include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, reached a settlement with the federal agencies in January. They agreed to pay a total $9.3 billion in cash and in reductions of mortgage balances.

Yahoo and Apple may be forging ahead with a deeper partnership. The Wall Street Journal says the two companies "have been discussing how more of Yahoo's services can play a prominent role on Apple's iPhone and iPad devices." Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer wants to boost her firm's visibility on mobile. Apple wants to reduce its reliance on Google - a fierce competitor.

We keep hearing warnings that the stock market is cruising for a bruising… that the averages can't go higher. Not so fast! The Dow Jones Index reached its second all-time high in a week with a gain of 60 points yesterday. The S&P 500 closed just 2 points shy of a new record. Stock futures are up this morning. European markets are higher and Japan's stock market continued recent gains.

The biggest reason why stocks are soaring is company profits. Many firms are doing more with less. US employers have more job openings than at any other time in nearly five years. Yet they seem in no hurry to fill them. The disparity helps explain why unemployment remains high. Why so many openings yet so few hires? Economists point to several factors: Some unemployed workers lack the skills employers want. Some companies may not be offering enough pay. And staffing firms say that in a still-fragile economy, many businesses seem hesitant to commit to new hires. They appear to be holding out for the perfect candidate. "We're living in a fear-based environment right now," says Kim First, CEO of the Agency Worldwide, a recruiting firm for pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

The tax filing deadline is closer than ever. Just five days before you must file your 2012 taxes. But what if you do not have all the paperwork, or cannot pay? New York tax accountant Janice Hayman says it's always best to file a return by the deadline. "Don't be the ostrich. Don't hide," she says. IRS officials will try to help if you cannot pay now. "They are very much aware of everybody's struggles. They have installment agreements you can enter." Not ready to do a full return yet? File an extension form. "It's automatic you get six months and it's easy to do now very easy you can electronically file it," says Hayman. The catch is you have still have to pay what you owe by the April 15 deadline. For more, see our story: What if you can't pay your taxes?

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio Twitter: daviesabc

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...