Archive for December, 2010

Vehicle recalls highest in 6 years

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 | Finance News

Toyota (NYSE:TM - News) led the year's U.S. recalls with 7.1 mil to fix faulty gas pedals, floor mats that could trap accelerators, defective braking and stalling engines, an AP analysis found. GM (NYSE:GM - News) recalled 4 mil, Honda (NYSE:HMC - News) and Nissan (OTC:NSANY.ob - News) each recalled more than 2 mil, Chrysler about 1.5 mil, and Ford (NYSE:F - News) more than 500,000. This year's total is still short of the record set in 2004, when carmakers recalled 30.8 mil. Toyota, Ford and Honda shares fell, but GM's stock climbed 2.2% to 36.82, fueled by 5 brokerage upgrades a day earlier.


Octomom’s Calif. home may be sold to porn king

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 | Finance News

LOS ANGELES – "Octomom" Nadya Suleman and her 14 children could avoid being evicted from their suburban home if the mortgage holder cuts a deal with a porn kingpin.

After giving Suleman repeated warnings to pay the $450,000 that's due or get out, Amer Haddadin says he's now considering an offer from Vivid Entertainment co-founder Steve Hirsch to foot the bill.

Suleman has repeatedly declined Hirsch's offers — $1 million at one point — to appear in porn videos.

Haddadin says half a million dollars is nothing to Hirsch, whose company is one of the biggest pornography companies based in California's San Fernando Valley.

"I am open to any option that (allows me to) finish with this matter," Haddadin said. "I like his offer and I'm going to go ahead with it if I can, but we'll see after Monday."

Haddadin said he's meeting with his lawyer Monday to talk about the deal and further eviction procedures, and Suleman won't face eviction Friday, as previously reported.

Hirsch told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he's not trying to pressure Suleman into porn, but he would use her housing woes to start a conversation that brings her to work for Vivid.

"There'd be no pressure on her. We're not looking to foreclose on the note, but if nothing else it would give us opportunity to meet with her," Hirsch said. "She's made it clear she doesn't want to do an adult movie. Maybe there are other things we could do that she would be interested in."

Hirsch said Suleman could keep her clothes on and work as a Vivid representative, a role similar to a master of ceremonies, welcoming people to Vivid parties.

The work could help cover Suleman's monthly costs, Hirsch said.

Suleman's housing woes stretch back for years. Before moving into her current four-bedroom home on a La Habra cul-de-sac, Suleman and her first six children lived with her mother. But that small Whittier home was foreclosed on just as her octuplets were becoming healthy enough to leave the hospital.

Nearly two years ago, Suleman's father, Ed Doud, bought the house for Suleman because the unemployed, single mom did not qualify for a traditional bank loan.

To purchase the $565,000 home about 25 miles east of Los Angeles, Doud made a $130,000 down payment and promised to pay $4,000 monthly, but a $450,000 balloon payment was due in March.

Haddadin had granted a six-month extension to pay the balance on the loan, but that expired Oct. 9. He told the AP on Sunday that as a Jordanian, he took pity on a fellow Arab in a tough spot and pledged to help Doud, who is Palestinian.

Suleman and her lawyer, Jeff Czech, were served eviction notices Dec. 2, Haddadin said. The two became joint owners of the house in August after her father transferred the deed from his name, Haddadin said.

A call to Czech was not immediately returned Thursday.

All 14 of Suleman's children were conceived through in vitro fertilization — something her doctor Michael Kamrava is facing censure for from the state medical board. The Beverly Hills fertility specialist stands to lose his license, and is accused of gross negligence in Suleman's treatment and the treatment of two other patients.

Before the octuplets were born, Suleman was living off college loans, her children's disability payments and workers' compensation from on-the-job injuries at a state mental hospital in 1999. Since their birth, the disability payments have dried up, but a new income stream was found in selling gossip items and short videos to tabloid media. Minor deals came through as a spokeswoman for a local milkshake vendor and an animal rights group.


Borders delaying payments to some vendors

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bookseller Borders Group Inc (BGP.N) is delaying payments to some of its vendors, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday, sending its shares down 11 percent.

The news came just weeks after the company said it was trying to obtain new financing to avoid violating the terms of its credit agreements early next year.

"As part of this potential refinancing, Borders has determined that it is necessary to restructure its vendor financing arrangements and is delaying payments to certain of its vendors," Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis said by phone.

Borders has notified these vendors and will be working with them to restructure their arrangements with the company, she added. Davis did not give details on the vendors.

The company, however, said: "There can be no assurance that it will be successful in refinancing its senior credit facilities or restructuring its vendor financing arrangements."

In its latest third quarter, Borders reported a wider quarterly loss and said its borrowing capacity was cut after a third-party review that lowered the estimated value of its inventory if the book store chain had to liquidate it.

Bookstores like Borders and larger rival Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N) have seen sales of physical books fall as readers increasingly turn to electronic reading devices and buy their books online.

Borders shares fell to $1.03 after hours, from a close of $1.16.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan; editing by Gunna Dickson)