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Monday October 25, 2010

In The Homestretch, Florida Gov. Candidates Make Final Impressions

Candidates for Florida governor Alex Sink, left, and Rick Scott meet for their first face-to-face debate Friday, Oct. 8, 2010 in Miami. (AP)

Candidates for Florida governor Alex Sink, left, and Rick Scott meet for their first face-to-face debate Friday, Oct. 8, 2010 in Miami. (AP)

The candidates for governor in Florida, Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink, meet tonight in their final debate before next week’s election. Scott, a businessman, is the former head of the health care company Columbia/HCA and is a first time candidate. Sink is Florida’s chief financial officer. Marc Caputo covers politics for the Miami Herald and joins us to talk about this race.

The Foreclosure Crisis Could Lead To Title Insurance Mayhem

Analysts predict that 2010 will produce more than 1 million home foreclosures. Rather than leaving quietly after defaulting on loans, homeowners are challenging their foreclosures in record numbers thanks to recent evidence suggesting many of the foreclosures were processed sloppily and incorrectly by banks — making them invalid. That means title insurance companies are going to see an onslaught of claims and lengthy court battles fought largely in uncharted legal territory. To better understand the brewing foreclosure storm, we speak with Kathleen Howley, real estate reporter for Bloomberg News.

The Fishy Cases Of Some Japanese Centenarians

For years we’ve been told that the Japanese live long lives based on fish and family, whilst Westerners perish early thanks to their isolation and love of fatty food. But it’s emerged that some of those centenarians in Japan were not as happy as they seemed. Some of them were in fact dead, but their relatives still claimed their pensions. The BBC’s Roland Buerk reports from Tokyo.

Power Of The Tweeter: Companies Cave To Anti-Social Media Campaigns

The original Gap logo, left, was briefly replaced by the logo at right.

The original Gap logo, left, was briefly replaced by the logo at right.

Call it the power of the tweeter. It’s when consumers use Facebook, Twitter or YouTube to launch social media campaigns to protest something a company is doing. Recently, Gap caved to concerns about its new logo, after thousands of its Facebook fans protested the switch from the iconic blue box to a kind of denim look. Sun Chips found itself forced to pull its eco-friendly, but extremely loud bag from store shelves. And who can forget the case of “United Breaks Guitars,” when a Canadian musician created a YouTube video to protest United Airlines baggage handlers damaging his guitar. We look at this “anti-social media” trend with Here & Now media analyst and Boston University communication professor, John Carroll.

Mark Twain Still Sells 100 Years After His Death

Though the creator of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer died in 1910, per his request “The Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume One” was held for publication until this year. And though it doesn’t come out until November 15, the book is already in the top five of both amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Why does Mark Twain still appeal to audiences? Here & Now literary critic Steve Almond gives us his take on Mark Twain and the book.

Music From The Show

  • Kar Kar Madison, “Boubacar Traore”
  • Ahmad Jamal, “Patterns”
  • Radiohead, “Myxamatosis”
  • Ken Vandermark, “New Acrylic”
  • Volcano Choir, “Sleepymouth”
  • Charles Mingus, “Open Letter to Duke”
  • Roger Miller “Entr’acte ‘Big River’” performed by the 1985 Broadway “Big River” Orchestra
  • Nick

    Re. Title insurance:

    Great! Another insurance pork scam, insuring the mortgage companies are reimbursed if homeowners default.

    It’s TIME to dismantle these + other mortgage/insurance industry requirements that fill their pockets.

    Although, I’m sure the GOP will shake their rattle in angst that Title insurance provides employment to (under-educated, ill-trained) persons earning $9/hour!

  • Nick

    I say let the foreclosed homeowners stay unless it can be legally proven they acted w/intent to deceive the banks (I’m pro-deception if it means undermining the financial industry!)

  • Gary Hall

    The issue about foreclosures is the connection between the court system and the banking system; they are in bed with one another. The little person does not have a chance against this system. It is not that the courts are “overwhelmed” as has been implied. The financial system owns the court system.

    GH

  • Julia Horvath

    The problem with the Gap’s logo was that it was awful. Not only did it not take into consideration any of the history of Gap’s logo, the font and gradient blue square tacked on to the corner looked like they were pulled from a Microsoft PowerPoint template. The new logo didn’t represent any sort of direction unless a lack of direction was the ultimate message they wanted to relay to the public. I hope Gap, Inc. takes lessons learned from this and then takes their design & marketing department (and/or whoever they hired for this rebranding)to task for giving them an end result that looked so unprofessional.

  • Nick

    I concur w/Julia (12:49pm):

    But, the new logo problem didn’t end w/the design or designers: the ultimate decision had to be made by the top executives — Ooopps!

    (I admit, I haven’t seen the new logo).

  • Ms Levi Cannon

    Owner’s Title insurance policies:
    Many property owners don’t realize that if they transfer title of property they own to another person or entity, such as an LLC or trust, that their title policy does not cover the new person or entity. They need to purchase a new owner’s policy when they transfer title. Fortunately, the new policy usually can be purchased at a reduced rate.

  • Robin Young

    Hello all, thanks as usual for weighing in..
    just wanted to say to first comment,
    title insurance does not insure mortgage company if homeowner defaults, but rather insures lender
    (or owner, if they purchase a policy)if another owner comes forward with a legitimate claim to title.

    carry on
    Robin

  • A Arrington

    Re:Title insurance and forclosures:

    This is the second segment I’ve heard in which Robin has incorrectly pronounced GMAC. It’s not “G-mac.” Each letter should be spoken : G-M-A-C.

  • Lucy Nichols

    Dear Here and Now:

    Kathleen Howley mentions websites that compare prices for owner’s title insurance. Could you post them?

    Thanks,

    Lucy

  • Anthony Fergus

    I have to wonder if there are more issues with bad paperwork on the East coast, more specifically where attorney’s do the chain of title work. On the West coast, or at least in California, the chain of title work is done by the title insurance company.

    And in regards to the example of the first title company missing a transfer of title that the second one found, the claim goes against the first title company. Title insurance never expires, title insurance is different than other insurance as it insures from the date of the policy back to the first deed.

    Yes, some properties do have poor descriptions as the reporter described. But those are the exceptions. Most that haven’t been subdivided have metes and bound descriptions that reference a sectionalized surveyed line that are pretty accurate, but then you have the descriptions from Ranchos that were given from the Spain that are overlaid.

    This is from my seven years in the title insurance industry as a examiner and engineer, here in California.

    I was laid off a year ago, and when I first heard about this foreclose mess I just thought, don’t these title insurance?? Title insurance have foreclosure units, which I’m sure are overloaded, but would think that they would be catching these oversights. If not, the should or will have claims, lots of them.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 22 Comment

What Do We Have To Teach Plato?

Philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein discusses her new book "Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away."

April 22 19 Comments

Children’s Literature: Apartheid Or Just A General Lack of Color?

African-American children's book authors Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers weigh in.

April 21 Comment

Remembering Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter

We remember the boxing champion, who was twice wrongly convicted of murder, with his longtime friend and defender.

April 21 2 Comments

‘Wait Wait’ Host Peter Sagal Runs Boston Marathon As Guide

For the second year in a row, the host of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is running with a legally blind athlete.