Starwatch consumer

Mortgage rates reach their highest levels in two years

Updated: 2013-06-27T20:34:56Z

Mortgage rates

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages surged this week to their highest levels in two years. The rate on the 30-year loan jumped the most in 26 years.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average on the 30-year loan jumped to 4.46 percent. That’s up from 3.93 percent last week and is the highest since July 2011.

The rate on the 15-year mortgage rose to 3.50 percent from 3.04 percent last week. That’s the highest since August 2011.

Military payments

U.S. Bancorp and a partner company will repay about $6.5 million to resolve Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claims that they misled miltary service members who participated in an auto lending program.

The two companies “failed to properly disclose costs associated with repaying auto loans” made to service members under U.S. Bancorp’s Military Installment Loans and Educational Services program, the consumer group said.

Tom Joyce, a spokesman for U.S. Bancorp, said the bank will end its program, while noting that it wasn’t fined by the bureau.

Broker fined

A Florida-based mortgage broker accused of trying to dupe veterans and active military has been fined $7.5 million by the Federal Trade Commission.

The commission said Mortgage Investors Corp., a leading refinancer of veterans’ home loans, agreed to the civil penalty after being accused of placing more than 5 million telemarketing calls to numbers on the national Do Not Call registry.

Mitsubishi recall

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is recalling 3,181 Outlander Sport SUVs in the United States and Puerto Rico because the panoramic glass roof could detach.

The affected cars are from the 2011 model year. The potential defect could occur because the roof may have been installed without primer being applied before the adhesive, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Pump deaths

Medtronic Inc.’s SynchroMed infusion pumps were found to have four flaws that have led to 14 patient deaths, spurring U.S. regulators to issue their most serious recall on the implantable device used to deliver pain and other medications.

Medtronic notified customers in early June about the flaws that may interfere with the safe and reliable delivery of medications using the SynchroMed Implantable Infusion System, the Minneapolis-based company said.

Apple ads

Apple’s newest TV commercials, showing consumers enjoying its products while an actor reads the company’s corporate philosophy, are a flop compared with earlier ads from the maker of iPhones and iPads.

The company’s latest ad, which began airing June 10, has earned the lowest score of 26 Apple TV ads in the past year, according to Ace Metrix Inc., a consulting firm that analyzes the effectiveness of TV ads through surveys of at least 500 TV viewers.

Mood swing

Consumer sentiment climbed last week to its highest level in more than five years as Americans became more inclined to shop.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index increased to minus 28.3 in the period ending June 23, its highest level since January 2008, from minus 29.4 a week earlier.

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