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Great visual of the recession effects

The Atlantic has a great visual of the effects of the recession on the economy.  Check it out:

Unemployment rates down in most Ky counties

Unemployment rates fell in 84 Kentucky counties between December 2009 and December 2010, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Fayette and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the Commonwealth at 7.5 percent each. They were followed by Oldham County, 7.9 percent; Hopkins, Madison and Warren counties, 8.2 percent each; Franklin County, 8.3 percent; Calloway County, 8.4 percent; and Caldwell, Carlisle, Jessamine, Rowan and Shelby counties, 8.5 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate — 18.8 percent. It was followed by Menifee County, 18.3 percent; Jackson County, 17 percent; Lewis County, 15.4 percent; McCreary County, 15.2 percent; Wolfe County, 14.8 percent; Bath County, 14.3 percent; Morgan and Powell counties, 14.2 percent each; and Clay County, 13.8 percent.

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Foster v. MERS lawsuit dropped reporting:  Citigroup, Ally Class-Action Foreclosure Suit Dropped

Kentucky homeowners dropped a possible class-action suit in which Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. units were accused of conspiring with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. to falsely foreclose on loans.

Heather Boone McKeever, the Lexington, Kentucky, lawyer who sued on behalf of the homeowners, said yesterday by e-mail that she dropped the case Feb. 3 because as a solo practitioner she wouldn’t be able to clear the “necessary hurdles” for maintaining a federal class action and she couldn’t interest a larger law firm. She said she continues to advise the plaintiffs in their individual state-court cases.

“My plan is to try to keep the cases in state court by filing class-action counterclaims against the individual creditors and MERS in each family’s action,” she said.

The lawsuit, filed as a civil-racketeering case on behalf of all Kentucky homeowners facing foreclosure, also named as a defendant Reston, Virginia-based MERS, the company that handles mortgage transfers among member banks.

MERS and banks have been accused in at least two other federal suits of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a law originally passed to pursue organized crime. A Florida case was thrown out Jan. 31 by a judge in Miami. Another is in Brooklyn, New York.

The Kentucky homeowners filed their complaint Sept. 28 in Louisville. They claimed that through MERS the banks are foreclosing on homes even when they don’t hold titles to the properties. The suit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning that the homeowners can refile it.

The case is Foster v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., 10-cv-611, U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky (Louisville).

Ohio foreclosures decline in 2010 reporting: For the first time in 15 years, Ohio foreclosure case filings declined in 2010 compared to the previous year, according to data released Thursday by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Common pleas courts across Ohio reported 85,483 new residential and commercial foreclosure case filings in 2010 to the high court, a drop of 4 percent.

The court began collecting foreclosure data in 1990.

The percentage drop was smaller in Southwest Ohio, with a 1.1 percent decrease. In addition, the number of filings for Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren counties remained above 12,000 for the third straight year.