Monday, August 19, 2013

Settlement money for housing counselors just getting started

Even though the big banks involved in the $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement from last year are nearing the end of their obligations, the money North Carolina set aside to pay for more housing counselors for distressed borrowers is only getting started to be distributed.

I asked the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, which is in charge of doling out that portion of the money, for an update late last week. They say that about 20 percent of the $14 million it's giving out to 47 homeowner counseling agencies around the state has been given out, and will continue to do so through 2015. That equates to about $2.7 million so far.

The agency did not provide a number of new counselors that had been hired as a result of the settlement money. One interesting note: The N.C. Housing Finance Agency said that in many cases, settlement money has been used to preserve the jobs of counselors who faced being downsized as the agencies lose other sources of revenue.

NEW WEALTH HEAD AT BANK OF N.C.: Heath Kinsland has been named senior vice president and head of wealth and business services at Bank of North Carolina, and he will be based here in Charlotte in its SouthPark office. He'll report directly to CEO Rick Callicut. Previously, Kinsland had been an executive in BB&T's wealth division.

BURR SAYS COMPANIES CAN'T LURE N.C. WORKFORCE AWAY: Sen. Richard Burr spoke to a small group at the Charlotte Chamber last week. The public wasn't allowed in, but the Chamber posted a YouTube video of some of his comments. He spent a good deal of time praising the state's workforce, and said it's been a major driver in companies deciding to set up shop here. If a company wants access to the workers here, they've got to have operations here, Burr said, since they're not going to be able to recruit them away. "There's nobody being recruited from North Carolina to move to California." I'm pretty sure this is not literally true (Wells Fargo, you convinced anybody to move from Charlotte to headquarters?) but you get the idea.

Here's some more of his comments, on sequestration, the Affordable Care Act, national security and the national debt.

****This is a preview of The Charlotte Observer's Bank Watch Morning Report, bringing you banking news from the region, the top financial headlines, and the news driving activity in the Charlotte market.****

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