Federal investigators have charged 530 people for allegedly defrauding more than 73,000 desperate homeowners around the country who fell behind on mortgage payments, leaving them vulnerable to con artists offering to help them avoid foreclosure.
The Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 70.3. That's up from 61.3 in August, which was revised higher. And it's the highest reading since February, when the economy added 259,000 jobs.
The CEO of a failed artificial sweetener company was charged Tuesday with theft and securities fraud in Missouri for using bond revenues to avoid foreclosure on his Beverly Hills, Calif., home and for failing to tell the truth about the company's troubled operations.
The new federal agency charged with enforcing consumer finance laws is emerging as an ambitious sheriff, taking on companies for deceptive fees and marketing and unmoved by protests that its tactics go too far.
Sales of bank-owned homes and those already on the foreclosure path fell sharply in the second quarter, reflecting a thinner slate of properties for sale in many cities as banks take a measured approach to placing homes on the market.