American Homeowners Grab at Mortgage Forbearance During Lockdown

(Bloomberg) — Almost 6% of U.S. mortgage borrowers have stopped making their payments following the passage of the CARES Act, which allows for easy forbearance.

The share of home loans in forbearance jumped to 5.95% during the week ended April 12, up from 3.74% the previous week, according to a survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Only 0.25% of all loans were in forbearance during the week of March 2.

Home loans backed by Ginnie Mae, which are issued to riskier borrowers, again showed the largest weekly growth, with the share in forbearance climbing 2.37 percentage points to 8.26%. However, loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased almost as fast — by 2.20 percentage points — to 4.64%.

Over 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past four weeks with the virus battering the economy. The government is requiring lenders handling payments on taxpayer-backed loans

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Licensed gun shops will be allowed to sell firearms as essential businesses in parking lots and drive-thru windows

FILE - In this March 15, 2020, file photo, people wait in a line to enter a gun store in Culver City, Calif. The coronavirus pandemic has much of the world contemplating an existential question amid a growing number of stay-at-home orders, with only "essential" service providers allowed to go to their jobs. As U.S. states enact sweeping stay-at-home orders, there is lots of agreement on what's essential, but some have their own notions. A few are eyebrow raisers. Among them are guns, golf and cannabis. Most lists, being compiled by governors and others, capture the basics of what's essential. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)
FILE – In this March 15, 2020, file photo, people wait in a line to enter a gun store in Culver City, Calif. The coronavirus pandemic has much of the world contemplating an existential question amid a growing number of stay-at-home orders, with only “essential” service providers allowed to go to their jobs. As U.S. states enact sweeping stay-at-home orders, there is lots of agreement on what’s essential, but some have their own notions. A few are eyebrow raisers. Among them are guns, golf and cannabis. Most lists, being compiled by governors and others, capture the basics of what’s essential. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

Associated Press

  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) added gun stores, shooting ranges, and weapons manufacturers to its list of essential businesses, allowing them to remain open amid the pandemic.

  • On Friday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) offered further guidance

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U.S. airlines ease loyalty programs in coronavirus travel slump

By Tracy Rucinski

(Reuters) – U.S. airlines are extending loyalty program benefits and status into 2021 for members homebound because of the new coronavirus.

Business and leisure travel have virtually ground to a halt worldwide, forcing airlines to drastically reduce flying schedules and ground their jets. Before the pandemic, carriers had been actively courting business or first-class travelers in particular to boost revenue as competition intensified.

United Airlines Holdings Inc <UAL.O> is extending current members’ MileagePlus Premier status through January 2022, reducing thresholds for Premier qualification by 50%, offering more credit card points and making it easier to upgrade seating.

Delta Air Lines Inc <DAL.N> is extending its SkyMiles Medallion Members’ status as well as the expiration dates for upgrade certificates and travel vouchers.

American Airlines Group Inc <AAL.O> on Monday had no updates on its elite program, but said it was continuing to assess the situation.

Airlines are also

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Coronavirus hotspots brace for deaths with refrigerated trucks on an unprecedented scale

Music festivals have been canceled, gatherings prohibited, construction projects stalled. Yet Keith Futerman has been inundated with calls from prospective clients requesting estimates for mobile cooler and freezer rentals.  

A Maryland hospital needed extended morgue space. A family-owned cemetery in California wanted walk-in units. A hotel inquired about cooler storage. 

“Who knows what they’re doing,” said Futerman, director of sales at Stewart’s Mobile Concepts in Huntington Station, New York. “I get so many calls I’ve just got to pump out the quotes.”

The coronavirus pandemic sweeping America has brought a surge in business to the refrigerated truck and storage industries. As the specter of virus-induced deaths looms, medical examiners and funeral homes across the U.S. are scrambling to secure temperature-controlled trailers in anticipation of overwhelmed facilities. 

Even grocery stores have taxed the refrigerated truck industry in an attempt to keep their freezers well-stocked for Americans now eating most of their

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