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Friday, April 3, 2009

Well Gottshchalks...it's been fun!!

How depressing!! The signs are on all street corners being waved by Gottschalks former employees..."Gottschalks-Going Out of Business Sale". After 105 years the retailer is really and truly closing it's doors.

What will happen to the 5,200 employees who have worked horrendous hours for very little $ so we could all walk in and find a pair of Levi's, a new t-shirt or a bathroom rug? They have poured blood, sweat and tears into the company, setting up Black Friday sales at midnight the morning after Thanksgiving, unloading merchandise trucks at 3 am on Christmas Eve, pulling all-nighters doing inventory during the coldest month of the year, Haulling 50 pounds of clothing off of dressing room floors because we are too lazy to put anything away, listening to us whine that we forgot the in-store coupon that was in the morning paper, how we don't like the perfume samples that come with the monthly Gottschalks credit card statements, , and on and on and on. Now they have lost their 401K's, health insurance benefits and monthly income. If you know anyone who works for Gottschalks be sure to give them some "atta girl's" or "atta boy's" for a job well done.

Speaking as the husband of a former Gottschalks area manager, I can guarantee that despite all of the downfalls of working in retail these people most likely feel that they are not only losing a job, they are losing their family.

C.A.R. Announces Mortgage Protection for First Time Buyers

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS launced the C.A.R. Housing Affordability Fund Mortgage Protection Program for first-time buyers.

Through the HAFMPP, first-time home buyers who lose their jobs due to layoffs may be eligible to receive $1,500 per month, for six months, to help make their mortgage payments. A qualified co-buyer also can participate in the program, and receive a monthly benefit of $750 per month for up to six months. The program also provides benefits for accidental disability and a $10,000 death benefit. C.A.R.'s Housing Affordability Fund estimates that as many as 3,000 families will benefit from the program this year.

To qualify for the Mortgage Protection Program applicants must:

Open escrow April 2, 2009 or later and close on or before December 31, 2009
Use a California REALTOR in the transaction
Purchase the property in California
Be a w-2 employee (cannot be self-employed)

To apply for the program, home buyers must request an application for HAF Mortgage Protection Program from their REALTOR.

Mortgage Rates at Record Low for 2nd Week

30-year mortgage rates fell for the second week in a row after the Federal Reserve launched a new effort to stimulate the housing market.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that average rates on 30 -year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 4.78% this week, down from 4.85% last week. Rates on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.52%, down from 4.58% last week.

The low rates have sparked a surge in refinancing activity. Nearly 80% of applications last week came from borrowers seeking to refinance.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"The Path to Your Dreams" Sweepstakes

Brought to you by CENTURY 21!!

Enter the Path to Your Dreams Sweepstakes for a chance to win big!! One lucky winner will receive $221,000 toward the home of their dreams! Eight regional winners will receive $5,00 in cash, and there are thousands of instant prizes!! Entries must be received by May 16, 2009. For official rules and sweepstakes entry go to https://sweepstakes.century21.com.

Ronald McDonald House Fundraiser

The Sun Mountain Gun Club in Indian Lakes, Coarsegold will be hosting the 4th Annual Sporting Clays Tournament on Saturday from 8am to 2pm. All proceeds from this event benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Fresno. Call 261-3669 for details and registration or visit www.ronald-mcdonaldhouse.com.

Oakhurst Branch Library Book Sale

FOBL (Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library) will be holding their monthly book sale this Saturday, April 4th at the Oakhurst Library from 10am to 2pm. There will be a wide variety of books available at low, low prices (childrens, travel, cook books, fiction and non fiction, best sellers and more!) All proceeds from the month FOBL book sales go toward the Oakhurst Branch Library expansion project. FOBL has been working hard to raise money to expand our town's library. Show your support and buy some books this Saturday!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Devastating News for Gottschalks

A liquidator was the successful bidder at the Gottschalks auction in Delaware on Monday. This is tragic news for over 5,000 employees of the 105 year-old company.

The company was going to begin notifying all employees today and going-out-of-business sales are expected to begin later this week. The liquidation is expected to be complete by July.

On Wednesday an auction date is expected to be set to deal with Gottschalks real estate assets.

The liquidator is expected to identify employees it wishes to retain before the sale begins. The selected employees will remain on Gottschalks payroll throughout the liquidation process and may receive retention bonuses of up to 10% of their base pay.