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Roundup: Study says many crisis-scarred homeowners becoming eligible for home loans; Wall Street powerhouse poised to loan mo…

Study: Many crisis-scarred homeowners becoming eligible for home loans

Credit tracker TransUnion estimates that 700,000 homeowners whose credit was scarred by missed payments, fore­closures or other negative events during the financial crisis could re-enter the mortgage market this year.

The number of these “boomerang buyers” will increase, TransUnion said, with potentially 2.2 million borrowers, previously shut out of the housing markets, able to apply for home loans during the next five years.

Other analysts and industry players said tight lending standards imposed by many lenders after the mortgage meltdown — tougher than those dictated by big mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — could remain an impediment for buyers.

Wall Street powerhouse poised to loan money to Main Street

Wall Street's most iconic investment bank has decided to open its doors to Main Street.

Goldman Sachs plans to start lending money directly to consumers and small businesses, according to an internal memo released to The Associated Press. It would be the first time in its history that the firm has done business with mainstream borrowers.

New regulations have weighed on the firm's other businesses, such as trading. Also, the online lending industry — growing at sometimes double or triple its levels from a year ago — could provide healthier returns without the need for Goldman to build bank branches.

Goldman hired an executive from credit card company Discover Financial in May to lead the firm's entry into consumer and personal lending, according to the memo, which was circulated to employees last month. Goldman did not lay out a timetable for when it would start lending.

Auto industry quality improves; Japanese makers don't keep pace

The quality of cars and trucks made by European, Korean and U.S. companies has improved so much in recent years that Japanese automakers, long the industry standard, are having trouble keeping pace.

The latest survey on new-vehicle quality by the J.D. Power consulting firm found that despite continued problems with entertainment and connectivity systems, quality is starting to improve for the auto industry as a whole.

The 2015 survey of more than 84,000 car buyers in February and March found that Porsche was once again the top brand for quality. Kia vaulted five spots to take second place, and its sister brand, Hyundai, finished fourth. Jaguar, in third, and Infiniti rounded out the top five finishers in the survey, which asked about problems in the first 90 days of ownership.

The worst-performing brands were Fiat, Smart, Chrysler, Subaru and Jeep. The car owners all had 2015 models.

ATI to expand factory in N.C.

Allegheny Technologies Inc. is expanding a factory in North Carolina, a $70 million project that will add 70 jobs, to meet growing demand from jet engine makers.

The Downtown-based company said it is constructing a building at its specialty metals complex in Monroe, N.C., for the production of nickel-based superalloy powders, which are used in parts exposed to high temperatures and corrosive environments.

The expansion is expected to take two years to complete and is part of a strategy to spend $200 million a year over several years on capital projects.

Wabtec makes Spanish acquisition

Wabtec Corp. said it acquired Metalocaucho, a Spanish manufacturer of rubber components for the transportation industry, for an undisclosed price. Metalocaucho, which has 100 employees and facilities in Spain, China and India, has sales of about $25 million a year.


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