Business & Economy
Harkin Supports Effort to Halt Pending Iowa Foreclosures PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 11 October 2010 12:18

October 8, 2010

Iowa effort part of national move to review documents, protect consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to Iowa’s leading mortgage insurers, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today said he supported a request by Attorney General Tom Miller to suspend foreclosure proceedings after reports revealed allegedly improper actions and defective court documents.  Earlier today, Bank of America announced that it has suspended foreclosure proceedings in all fifty states while the bank examines foreclosure documents for errors.

“Consumer protection is our number one priority,” said Harkin. “And right now, it appears as though consumers in Iowa and around the country may not be getting a fair deal in certain foreclosure proceedings.

“I am very concerned by reports that foreclosure proceedings were not adequately reviewed and that documents were submitted improperly to Iowa courts, potentially subjecting numerous Iowa homeowners to inappropriate foreclosure proceedings,” Harkin wrote. “Until Attorney General Miller is able to complete a full review of these practices, I believe it is only fair that you freeze pending foreclosures, sheriff sales, and evictions in Iowa.”   

The full text of the letter can be found here.

 
Harkin: 26 Iowa Small Businesses Receive Nearly $16 Million in Loans to Grow and Hire PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 11 October 2010 12:13
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) applauded the Small Business Administration for processing all of the loan applications in their queue and disbursing funds to 26 Iowa small businesses, just ten days after President Obama signed the Small Business Lending Fund Act into law.  Iowa’s recipients received a total of $15,917,000 in loans to grow and hire.

“Today’s announcement means that 26 Iowa small businesses will be able to move our economy forward by continuing to expand and hire,” Senator Harkin said. “Our small businesses provide jobs, needed goods and services, and give Iowa the character that makes it a great place to live.  They are the engines of our economic growth, and supporting them will help spur along our fragile recovery.  Congratulations to the entrepreneurs who received these loans.”

The Small Business Lending Fund Act provides small businesses with access to capital, robust incentives for investment and support for innovation and entrepreneurship.  The legislation provides some $12 billion in small business tax credits and will create as many as 500,000 jobs nationwide.  It is also fully paid for, and will not add a dime to the federal deficit.

Similar to the HIRE Act and other job creating measures, the Small Business Lending bill was opposed by Senate Republicans who delayed its passage for months.  

Below is a list of Iowa companies who received Small Business Administration loans:

 

BORROWER                                                            CITY                           TOTAL APPROVED LOAN AMOUNT
B & J HAULING & EXCAVATING, IN                   Monticello                                          $1,055,900
BEAR CORP AND NICHOLAS BARRETT             Clarion                                               $150,000
BUTTERFACE, L.L.C.                                              West Des Moines                               $112,500
CHRISTEL MANSON INSURANCE AGEN           Waterloo                                            $310,000
Davenport Furniture Co., L.L.C                                   Davenport                                          $25,000
DUCK CREEK TIRE & SERVICE, INC                   Bettendorf                                          $465,800
FEIEREISEN, INC.                                                   Cedar Rapids                                      $1,411,000
FIZZIX MANUFACTURING , LLC                         Ottumwa                                             $250,000
FLUENT CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC, PC                 Sioux City                                           $514,000
Frey Pet Hospital                                                        Cedar Rapids                                      $883,000
GYM F/X, L.L.C. / LAKESIDE FIT                          Des Moines                                        $240,000
HAMILL MOTOR COMPANY, INC.                      Sheldon                                              $425,000
HANSON FITNESS INC.                                         Mason City                                        $165,000
Hillcrest Healthcare Services                                        Hull                                                    $1,244,000
JURRENS, INC.                                                        George                                               $220,000
LAKESIDE FITNESS AND TANNING L                Pleasant Hill                                        $1,362,500
Lambro Properties, LLC                                             Cedar Rapids                                      $600,000
LARLO HOLDINGS, LLC (EPC) AND                    Des Moines                                        $1,666,300
LISA AND SCOTT PAGELER                                 Lemars                                                $430,000
MACHINE & PATTERN WORKS, INC.                 Princeton                                            $191,700
MCGREGOR MARINA INC.                                    McGregor                                          $835,000
RON'S TOY BOX TOO, LLC                                   Bettendorf                                          $1,521,300
THE HUB LIVE LLC                                                 Cedar Falls                                         $215,000
THE OAKS                                                                Cedar Falls                                         $39,000
THE POWDER SHOP, INC                                      Manchester                                         $225,000
YOGI'S, INC.                                                            Monticello                                           $1,360,000
Total:    $15,917,000

 
Governor Quinn Announces Investment Package for U.S. Cellular to Create and Retain 1,100 Jobs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Kara Beach   
Monday, 11 October 2010 10:38

Project will Foster Economic Growth in Northeast Illinois

CHICAGO – October 8, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a more than $7 million business investment package that will keep U.S. Cellular Corporation in Illinois. The decision by one of the nation’s leading communications companies will create 25 new jobs and retain 1,075 jobs at its corporate headquarters in Chicago and at another facility in Bensenville.

“U.S. Cellular knows that there is no better place for a company to expand and create more jobs than Illinois, and that is why it chose to make this major investment in our state,” said Governor Quinn. “By listening to and responding to the needs and priorities of companies like U.S. Cellular, we are again proving that Illinois is a great state to do business in and putting more people to work.”

U.S. Cellular is renewing the leases for its Chicago headquarters and a management information systems hub in Bensenville. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is administering the state’s $7.1 million business investment package, which consists of Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credits. The package will leverage more than $14.6 million in private investment.

"We are proud to call the State of Illinois our home, and we look forward to continuing to serve its residents and all of our other customers around the country with the first-rate wireless service they deserve," said Tom Weber, VP Financial & Real Estate Services for U.S. Cellular.

The state’s competitive investment package helped Illinois edge out several other states for U.S. Cellular’s expansion. Illinois has added nearly 38,000 new jobs in 2010, and so far this year Illinois’ economy has grown faster than the national economy.

“Governor Quinn recognizes the importance of partnering with innovative companies like U.S. Cellular in building a platform for our continued economic growth and creating more jobs,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “By renewing its leases in Chicago and Bensenville, U.S. Cellular is demonstrating its commitment to Northeast Illinois, which is poised for vibrant growth as the state continues its economic recovery.”

U.S. Cellular is committed to fixing wireless one project at a time. The Chicago-based carrier, named one of Forbes Magazine’s 2010 “Most Trustworthy Companies”, recently unveiled The Belief Project, a series of industry-first, innovative solutions designed to elevate the customer experience. The Belief Project complements U.S. Cellular’s growing catalog of cutting-edge phones, all backed by its nationwide 3G network. For the 10th reporting period in a row, U.S. Cellular has received the J.D. Power and Associates award for overall call quality in the North Central Region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com 

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HUD ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL SUPPORT TO HELP IOWA HOMEOWNERS STRUGGLING WITH UNEMPLOYMENT PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Dale Gray   
Thursday, 07 October 2010 07:53

DES MOINES - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today that HUD will provide over $17.3 million to help struggling homeowners in Iowa through its Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP).  The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama in July, authorizes HUD to administer a $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, to provide assistance – for up to 24 months -- to homeowners who have experienced a substantial reduction in income due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition and are at-risk of foreclosure.  HUD will assist borrowers in 32 states and Puerto Rico not otherwise funded by Treasury’s Hardest Hit Housing Fund program, based on the state’s relative share of unemployed homeowners.  It is HUD’s intention for the program to begin taking applications from eligible homeowners by the end of the year.

“The Emergency Homeowner Loan Program will provide limited and targeted assistance to help working families get back on their feet and keep their home while they look for work,” said Donovan.  “In crafting this new loan program, HUD built on the lessons learned from Treasury’s Hardest Hit initiative to design and implement a program to assist struggling unemployed homeowners avoid preventable foreclosures.  Together these two initiatives represent a combined $8.6 billion investment to help struggling borrowers and in doing so further contribute to the Obama Administration’s efforts to stabilize housing markets and communities across the country.”

Who Will Be Helped

The program will complement existing Administration efforts to assist struggling homeowners – including the Home Affordable Modification and Hardest Hit Fund initiative administered by the U.S. Treasury Department.  Under the EHLP:

1)      the borrower must be at least three months delinquent in their payments and have a reasonable likelihood of being able to resume repayment of their mortgage payments and related housing expenses within two years;

2)      the property must be the principle residence of the borrower, and eligible borrowers may not own a second home;

3)      the borrower must have suffered at least a 15 percent reduction in income and have been able to afford their mortgage payments prior to the event that triggered the loss income.

How They Will Be Helped

The HUD Emergency Homeowners Loan Program will offer a forgivable, deferred payment “bridge loan” (zero percent interest, non-recourse, subordinate loans) for up to $50,000 to assist eligible borrowers with their mortgage arrearages and payments on their mortgage principal, interest, mortgage insurance premiums, taxes and hazard insurance for up to 24 months.

There will be a dual delivery approach for program administration.  The first approach will delegate some of the program’s administrative functions to a designated third party.  The second approach will enable state housing finance agencies (HFAs) that operate substantially similar programs to engage in relief efforts on behalf of residents of their state:

o   Delegated approach:  HUD will delegate key program administration functions to NeighborWorks® America – an experienced and highly regarded national network of affiliated housing counseling agencies.  Under the program, nonprofit housing counselors who are part of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program administered by NeighborWorks® America will coordinate intake counseling, document preparation and outreach functions.  HUD will also use its delegation authority to contract with an experienced entity to provide loan servicing and fiscal control functions such as collecting payments from homeowners, distributing payments to servicers, and managing loan balances.

o   Substantially similar state law approach:  State HFAs that operate loan assistance programs that are determined by HUD to be substantially similar to the EHLP will receive allocations to fund emergency loans for borrowers in their states as well as payments to cover the administrative costs of performing the intake and housing counseling and fiscal agent functions (described above) directly or indirectly through subcontracts with third parties.

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and  transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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Braley to Meet with Employers and Workers to Discuss the Back to Work Extension Act PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Caitlin Legacki   
Monday, 04 October 2010 15:20

Washington, DC Congressman Braley will meet with employers and workers in Davenport, Clinton and Dubuque to discuss employees who have been called back to work or found new jobs because of the Back to Work Act. Braley’s Back to Work tax credit was signed into law in March. Between February and June 2010, Iowa businesses hired more than 53,733 workers who qualified for the tax credit.

Due to facility restrictions, media are not allowed on the tour in Clinton, but are invited to attend a media availability following the tour.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5

WHAT: Rep. Braley to meet with workers and representatives from the United Auto Workers Local #94 and Dubuque Area Building Trades. They will discuss the Back to Work Extension Act.

WHEN: 10:00 AM CDT

WHERE: UAW Local #94 Office

3450 Central Ave

Dubuque, Iowa

 

WHAT: Rep. Braley to tour TMK-IPSCO plant in Camanche and will discuss the Back to Work Extension Act.

WHEN: Media availability at 12:45 PM CDT

WHERE: TMK-IPSCO

2011 7th Ave

Camanche, Iowa

Please enter plant through the main office entrance

 

WHAT: Rep. Braley to meet with workers and representatives from the Carpenters Union Local #4 and the Tri-City Building Trades to discuss the Back to Work Extension Act

WHEN: 2:00 PM CDT

WHERE: Carpenters Local #4 Hall

6623 West Kimberly Road

Davenport, Iowa

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