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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 3, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Rules will help develop abandoned properties


Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. The federal government announced yesterday it is relaxing some rules to make it easier for communities to spend funds on redeveloping abandoned and foreclosed properties.

The changes, effective immediately, will allow cities, counties and states to buy properties in mortgage default and uninhabitable homes with lingering code violations through the $4 billion Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The program was started amid of the nation's foreclosure crisis, but a year later about a third of more than 300 local governments that got grants have barely made a dent in them.

GM, INSURER REPAY BILLIONS TO TREASURY

WASHINGTON The Treasury Department says automaker General Motors Co. and insurer Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. have repaid billions of bailout dollars.

Treasury says GM repaid $1 billion of $6.7 billion in loans it received as part of a $50 billion rescue. Hartford repaid its entire $3.4 billion bailout. The money came from a $700 billion bailout that Congress passed in October 2008 amid the worst financial crisis in generations.

EBAY LAUNCHING FASHION MICROSITE

NEW YORK EBay Inc. now wants shoppers to think of it when looking for trendy duds like hipster jeans and red ballerina flats.

EBay will launch a new fashion microsite Monday. It's working with major fashion brands and retailers such as Hugo Boss and to act as sellers on the new site, fashion.ebay.com.