Business Tidbits

10 Banks Agree To Pay $8.5 Billion For Foreclosure Abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) – Ten major banks agreed Monday to pay $8.5 billion to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

The banks, which include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, will pay billions to homeowners to end a review process of foreclosure files required under a 2011 enforcement action. The review was ordered because banks mishandled people’s paperwork and skipped required steps in the foreclosure process.

The settlement was announced jointly by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

Apple Says More Than 40 Billion Apps Have Been Downloaded

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple says people have downloaded more than 40 billion apps for the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch, nearly half of them in 2012.

Apple Inc. said Monday that December saw record downloads of more than 2 billion apps. There are 775,000 individual applications available in the app store. Apple says it has paid app developers more than $7 billion.

Apple launched its app store in 2008. The store hit the 10 billion downloads mark in early 2011. In March 2012 Apple announced that more than 25 billion apps had been downloaded.

Government To Require Electric Cars To Make Noise

DETROIT (AP) – A government safety agency wants electric and hybrid vehicles to make more noise when traveling at low speeds so pedestrians can hear them coming.

The cars and trucks, which are far quieter than conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles, don’t make enough noise at low speeds to warn walkers, bicyclists and the visually impaired, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday in a statement.

The proposed rule would require the cars to make additional noise at speeds under 18 miles per hour. NHTSA says the cars make enough noise to be heard at higher speeds.

High Court Hears Dispute Over Class Actions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday questioned efforts by consumers’ lawyers to limit the amount of money sought in class-action lawsuits so they are heard in state courts rather than more business-friendly federal court.

The justices appeared receptive to an insurance company’s argument that lawyers artificially lower the amount of money at stake to keep the lawsuits in state courts, which often favor plaintiffs. The Standard Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford, Conn., says the tactic drags out lawsuits and makes fighting them so expensive that companies would rather settle.

The case involves a 2005 federal law that allows defendants to transfer class actions involving more than $5 million to federal court.

Citigroup Names Forese, Medina-Mora Co-Presidents

NEW YORK (AP) — Citigroup’s new CEO is continuing to put his imprint on the bank, naming co-presidents on Monday.

CEO Michael Corbat tapped Jamie Forese and Manuel Medina-Mora for the roles.

Corbat took over as CEO of the New York company in October after Vikram Pandit unexpectedly stepped down from the post. Pandit had reportedly clashed with the board over the company’s strategy and its relationship with the government.