published Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Business Briefcase: Relief for victims of foreclosure

Relief for victims of foreclosure

Tennessee's Attorney General is mailing forms to 37,000 Tennessee borrowers who may be eligible to share in part of the nationwide $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement. Under the agreement, the nation's five largest mortgage servicers will pay $1.5 billion to 2 million borrowers nationwide who lost their homes to foreclosure from 2008 through 2011 through faulty paperwork or improper foreclosure procedures.

Bob Cooper, the state's attorney general, said those who apply and get the payments can still sue their mortgage lender to recover other damages from foreclosure losses.

"This payment (from the nationwide settlement) is intended as partial compensation for the mortgage servicers' illegal conduct and servicing abuse," Cooper said.

Borrowers who have questions may contact the settlement administrator by calling 1-866-430-8358.


Kenco adds site near Savannah

Kenco, a Chattanooga-based warehouse and logistics company, announced plans last week to open a 230,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Bryan County, Ga., near the Port of Savannah.

Kenco said it expects to hire more than 50 employees in the next few years to staff the complex, located in an 1,110-acre industrial park in Black Creek, Ga.

"The Bryan County facility will be Kenco's fourth in Georgia and first in the Port of Savannah market, bringing our total Georgia footprint to over 2.5 million square feet," Kenco Chief Operating Officer Andy Smith said.

Kenco, which began in 1950, has grown into one of the nation's largest family-owned and privately held third-party logistics providers with more than 100 facilities and more than 28 million square feet of warehouse space in 25 states and Canada.


TVA siren upgrade to cost $1.9 million

The Tennessee Valley Authority will begin replacing its 108 emergency notification sirens this week and soon will add another four sirens around its Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant. The $1.9 million upgrade, scheduled to be complete by the end of the year, is part of a $7 million siren replacement program at all three of TVA's nuclear power plants.

The new, state-of-the-art siren system contains backup battery power capability to ensure continuous siren operation for up to seven days to warn anyone living within a 10-mile radius of Sequoyah about any radiation leak or accident, should it occur. Contractor crews will be replacing sirens at the rate of two to four units per day and will work six days a week through December.

"The recent tornadoes in Hamilton County are a reminder of the importance of the sirens to the safety of the community," Sequoyah Site Vice President John Carlin said in a statement last week. "It is vital that we ensure the sirens are effectively operating each and every day."

After installation, each siren will be tested to make sure it operates properly. This will result in individual sirens being sounded multiple times daily, six days a week, for the next two or more months, until all sirens are replaced. These soundings should last about 20 seconds.

TVA also is planning its biannual, graded drill on Wednesday to test its emergency response capabilities.


Tech lure draws Philly attention

The Philadelphia Inquirer, the biggest newspaper in America's fifth largest city, took notice last week of Chattanooga's campaign to recruit computer geeks with $10,000 incentives for buying a home, plus $1,250 in moving expenses. The privately funded appeal to get techies to buy into targeted edgy neighborhoods is targeted for just 10 individuals. But it may not work.

"Coming from this town to go there?" South Philadelphia software developer Chris Cera, 34, told the newspaper. "Maybe if I had family there."

Thomas Morr, president of a nonprofit group known as Select Greater Philadelphia, said such grants are used by other cities with mixed results. "I'm glad we live in a place that's so attractive we don't have to do that," he said.

With EPB offering the fastest citywide Internet service in the country, Chattanooga is marketing itself to computer and web geeks with a campaign billed as "Gig City" — gigabit, get it?"

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