One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale.
Credit Rich Pedroncelli / AP
In West Palm Beach, Fla., homeowners lined up for the 2010 Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America "Save the Dream" tour, hoping to restructure their mortgage loans.
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If Jay and Bonnie Silverstein were able to refinance their mortgage, they could save nearly $500 a month. "We're living paycheck to paycheck," Jay says.
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Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.
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In December, Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman, FHFA acting Director Edward DeMarco and Fannie Mae CEO Michael Williams testified on Capitol Hill about the Federal Housing Finance Agency's performance.
Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.
But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.
At the end of last week, an employee sent an email with a simple request: Please bring me a copy of the new directory. She accidentally copied every member of the legislature and all of their staff. The email went to some 4,000 people. Recipients then started to reply-all with many messages, and the system couldn't handle it.
Fighting in Syria has intensified within a few miles of the capital city. Damascus has remained under firm government control, but in the suburbs, the army has sent in tanks to retake areas that had been under the affective control of rebels. Activists inside Syria say more than 60 people have been killed in the past day. NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring the situation from Beirut. She's on the line. Hi Kelly.
KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Hello.
INSKEEP: How did this fighting develop in the suburbs?
A new casino set to open in Atlantic City, N.J., has announced it will set term limits for its front-line staff. When employees' terms run out, they'll have to go through the hiring process again. The casino says the policy will keep its service fresh. Others say the company is taking advantage of a tough job market.
From bellhops to dealers, employees of the new casino — called Revel — will be hired for terms from four to six years. After that, they have to reapply for their jobs and compete against other candidates.
While the Internet may aid the spread of democracy, democracy doesn't necessarily mean a free and open Internet. In her new book Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, Rebecca MacKinnon, senior fellow at the New America Foundation and co-founder of Global Voices, a citizen media network, investigates the corrosion of civil liberties by the governments and corporations that control the digital world.
Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic for decades. It's also a widely popular but illegal club drug known as "Special K." When administered in low doses, patients report a rapid reduction in depression symptoms.
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Credit Ronald Duman / Yale University
Credit Ronald Duman / Yale University
Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston sees 100,000 emergency patients a year, 5,000 of whom need psychiatric evaluation.
Last June, some employees at the Global Ikhwan Café, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, established the Obedient Wives Club. Global Ikhwan (Ikhwan is Arabic for "brotherhood") owns businesses in several countries.
Since then, it has been castigated for what Muslim and non-Muslim critics call a "medieval and oppressive interpretation of Islam."
The controversy surprised club organizer Dr. Azlina Jamaluddin. She says that her group is merely suggesting a way to deal with social problems in Malaysia such as a rising divorce rate.