Hawaii foreclosures leap in wake of law
HONOLULU - A report by a real estate research firm says Hawaii foreclosures were highest last month since a state law took effect that changed rules for out-of-court foreclosures.
RealtyTrac released its report Wednesday, showing that January had 652 foreclosures actions statewide - the highest number since June.
Enacted in May, Act 48 gives qualified homeowners the option of using a mediator to help with foreclosure mitigation, which is meant to curb lender abuses. Lenders didn't like a provision that would render a nonjudicial foreclosure sale void for even minor violations of the law, resulting in most cases being filed in court.
The City and County of Honolulu had the most filings, 287, but the best rate at 1 per 1,174 households. Hawaii County had the next-highest total at 199 and the worst rate at 1 filing per 414 households. There were 126 filings in Maui County, or one per 559 households, while Kauai County had 40 filings, or one per 745 households.
Kihei with 38 filings and Wailuku with 34 were the areas with the most filings on Maui.
Grad students push for bargaining
HONOLULU - Graduate students at the University of Hawaii want the right to bargain as a state employee unit.
The Graduate Student Organization says it's closer to being able to negotiate working conditions and salary increases because of a bill before the state Legislature.
The bill would remove a restriction that currently prohibits graduate students from negotiating their contracts. The Hawaii Government Employees Association and other unions have joined with the graduate students in supporting the bill.
GSO President Anjali Nath issued a press release urging lawmakers to support House Bill 2859. She said without a proper channel for grievance, graduate assistants can do little to express their opinions or protect themselves from abuse.