The St. Louis County Council approved additional changes to an ordinance that requires lenders to offer mediation to homeowners on the edge of foreclosure.
The tweaks to the ordinance include removing the right for homeowners to sue lenders after they’ve gone through mediation, and they come in the shadow of an ongoing legal battle with lenders over whether the county even has the authority to enforce the ordinance.
Councilwoman Hazel Erby first introduced the mediation plan and is confident in the county’s case.
St. Louis County has new accountants auditing its financial records and they want changes to how officials track extra cash left in bank accounts at the end of the fiscal year.
The county’s Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls says in the past they would consider the leftover money as revenue, but the audit recommends it now be accounted for as an asset.
“There’s a reason accountants have the reputation that they do,” Earls says. “This is a perfectionism of the system, and I’d tell you outright that it is an asset of the county so we might as well count it as an asset.”
The Missouri Bankers Association has filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County over a new ordinance that requires lenders to offer mediation to homeowners facing foreclosure.
The trade group’s president, Max Cook, said they plan to argue that it has a laundry list of legal problems.
“Not the least of which is statute that says when it comes to banking laws, and rules, and regulation, no entity, be it a county, a city, what have you, can pass an ordinance or a rule more restrictive than that of the state of Missouri,” Cook said.
The Missouri Bar Association is out with its judicial retention recommendations.
The organization surveys judges, lawyers and jurors every election year to ask whether the state’s judges should be retained by voters in November.
Of the 51 judges evaluated by the Bar, just one – St. Louis County Judge Dale Hood – did not get a retention recommendation. This is the second time Judge Hood has received a sub-par rating from the group of attorneys.
Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:
St. Louis County attitude survey results presented
Last night members of the St. Louis County Council heard the results of a survey that measured how the attitudes of residents have changed over the past five years. Many don't think the county is going in the right direction but don't place the blame on their county government.
Five years ago, a little over 60 percent of people thought the county was going in the right direction; today that number is 44 percent.
St. Louis County executive Charlie Dooley is pledging to open an emergency homeless shelter in the county by the end of the year.
Dooley announced the shift in policy in a series of Tweets on Friday. The county will also be looking for agencies to operate transitional housing - which is a stepping stone between a shelter and a permanent residence - and will host a homeless summit in October.
Quinn to announce plan to address Illinois' drought
Gov. Pat Quinn plans a visit to a southern Illinois farm today. The Illinois Farm Bureau says that so far, it's the sixth driest year on record. The average precipitation of the first half of the year was 12.6 inches. Much of Illinois' corn and soybean crop is suffering. Farm officials say southern Illinois is experiencing the worst of it. Quinn is expected to detail whatever government relief may be available to drought-affected growers and ranchers.
Rachel Otwell contributed reporting from Springfield, Ill.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn made it official on Tuesday - he will close two state prisons, including the state's supermax facility in Tamms.
Rep. Brandon Phelps, of Harrisburg, says he received a brief memo from Quinn, saying that Tamms and a prison in Dwight will close, as well as juvenile detention centers in Joliet and Murphysboro. That's despite legislators including money in the 2013 budget for the facilities.