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Published: 9/10/2010

Monroe's MBT to sell notes, shares for capital

MONROE - MBT Financial Corp., the parent firm of Monroe Bank & Trust, said this week that it will offer up to $15 million in promissory notes at an interest rate of 8.5 percent and 2.5 million shares of stock to raise capital for the bank.

Federal and state regulators have ordered the Michigan bank to improve its financial conditions because of its soured loans.

Proceeds will be used partially to pay interest on the notes but mainly to raise the bank's capital and to pay for operating expenses, the firm said.

WASHINGTON - Mortgage rates nationally mostly edged up last week as investors' fears about the economy eased.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan was 4.35 percent, up from 4.32 percent the week before. It was only the second rise in 12 weeks.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed loan remained at 3.83 percent after falling last week. It's still the lowest rate on records dating to 1991.

The Federal Reserve has proposed a rule that would give consumers the right to cancel mortgage applications within three days and get fee refunds.

Under the plan, consumers could apply with two or more lenders, pay various fees, then cancel all but one application and get refunds from the rejected lenders. Application, appraisal, and other fees would be refundable; credit-reporting fees would not.

According to Bankrate's 2010 Closing Costs Study, the average appraisal costs $377 and application fees average $343. Credit-report fees - which would be nonrefundable - averaged $18 in the survey.

Most lenders bill borrowers directly for credit reports and appraisals. Some, but not all, lenders charge application fees.

NEW YORK - Investors who bought Dow Jones industrial average stocks on the November election day in the middle year of presidencies since 1918 generated profits through New Year's Eve 70 percent of the time, Janney Montgomery Scott's Dan Wantrobski said.

The Dow jumped an average of 5 percent during the two months between the November congressional elections to Dec. 31 in the 16 winning Dow years in 23 midterm cycles. The average return for all midterm voting years is 2.3 percent, while the seven losing years had a negative return of 4 percent on average, he said.

Ford Motor Co. will ask its Lincoln dealers to upgrade their showrooms and improve customer treatment to help invigorate the brand that ranks eighth among luxury car lines in the United States.

The 1,187 Lincoln dealers have been called to Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., on Oct. 4 to discuss the brand's future, said Christian Bokich, a firm spokesman. This is the first meeting of Lincoln dealers in more than two years.

Ford is discontinuing its midlevel Mercury line at the end of the year, which most Lincoln dealers also sold.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. investors lost a bid to stop a shareholder vote on the car-rental firm's planned sale to Hertz Global Holdings Inc. for more than $1 billion.

Delaware Chancery Court Judge Leo Strine, Jr., rejected Dollar Thrifty investors' request for an injunction against Thursday's vote so company officials could reconsider an offer from Avis Budget Group Inc.

The plaintiffs' argument "does not support their claim that the Dollar Thrifty Board likely breached its fiduciary duty to take reasonable steps to maximize the value" stockholders would receive, the judge said Thursday.



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