19 March 2009

State News In Brief

Countrywide Settling, Gannet Punishing, Luggage Missing
As Originally Posted to The Detroit News

AG: Countrywide pays $6.7M of settlement
DETROIT -- Nearly $10million from a state settlement with mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp . will go to about 3,700 borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced Tuesday. Cox said at a news conference in Detroit that he and six other state attorneys general negotiated settlements with Countrywide. He said 3,697 people, with sub-prime and pay-option adjustable rate mortgages between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2008 and later, who lost their home each will receive
$1,800. The $6.7 million makes up two-thirds of the settlement with Countrywide. The state worked with Bank of America Corp ., which now owns Countrywide, to identify the borrowers for the payments. "It's meant to provide real money, real relief, for some of the practices Countrywide engaged in," Cox said.
Gannett slashes CEO bonus by 50 percent

Gannett Co ., the publisher of the USA Today newspaper and the Detroit Free Press, slashed CEO Craig Dubow's bonus and salary amid plunging advertising revenue. The McLean, Va.-based company cut Dubow's bonus for his 2008 performance by 50 percent to $875,000, according to a proxy filing Tuesday. The CEO on Nov. 1 voluntarily reduced his annual salary by 17 percent to $1 million, effective for the final two months of 2008 and all of this year. The company also halved CFO Gracia Martore's bonus to $300,000, while keeping her $700,000 salary.

Airlines - Luggage mishandling on the rise at airlines

Airlines' luggage mishandling increased 24 percent to 42 million bags worldwide in 2007, with

about 1.2 million items irretrievably lost, the Air Transport Users Council said. The number of checked bags

arriving late, sent to the wrong destination, damaged or lost entirely may increase 67 percent to about 70 million a year by 2019, based on annual passenger numbers that are

estimated to double in the next decade, the London-based consumer group said Tuesday.

Carriersneed to improve compensation to people whose bags are lost, the group said.

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