Biden extends COVID-19 ban on foreclosures
President Joe Biden has extended a ban on some foreclosures until the summer as millions of homeowners continue to struggle during the coronavirus pandemic.
The moratorium on foreclosures for federally guaranteed mortgages means struggling homeowners have until June 30 to request a pause or reduction in their payments.
It will also extend for six months the help already granted to homeowners since last year.
There was no immediate word on whether Biden will also extend past March 31 the ban on evictions for renters.
The White House says more than 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments and the Census Bureau says one in eight homeowners can’t afford their monthly payments.
“Homeowners will receive urgently needed relief as we face this unprecedented national emergency,” Biden said.
The administration says extending the go-easy policies will be particularly helpful to minority homeowners, who make up a disproportionate share of those struggling.
The coordinated actions announced Tuesday include measures taken by the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and Agriculture, all of which play roles in financing homes.
The forbearance policies had been set to expire on March 31. On his first day in office, Biden had extended the moratorium from Jan. 31.
— New York Daily News
Philly police officer charged with sexually assaulting teen
PHILADELPHIA — A longtime Philadelphia police officer has been arrested on allegations that for four years he sexually assaulted a teenage girl, starting when she was in the eighth grade.
Officer Charles Young was arrested on Thursday on charges that include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of a minor and indecent sexual assault, all felonies. He is the fourth officer in three weeks to face criminal charges.
Young, 50, a member of the department for 21 years, retired before he was charged, according to a law enforcement source. The police department made no announcement about the charges. Other Philadelphia officers have retired before or after their arrest in an effort to begin collecting their pension payments.
The alleged victim in Young’s case said she first met Young and his partner in 2004 during her walks home from school, according to court documents. She was 14 at the time.
While on solo patrol one day, Young allegedly gave the girl his phone number and they met up that evening. They drove to Delaware Avenue and Spring Garden Street and engaged in sexual activity in his Cadillac, including intercourse, after Young allayed her concerns about the alleged assault, according to the arrest report.
“He asked her to trust him,” the report states.
Over the next four years, Young would allegedly pick up the girl from her home and school, sometimes in his police vehicle, and continued the sexual activities, giving her money on occasion and telling her not to disclose what had happened to her mother.
In January 2020, the victim identified Young in a photo array. She has provided other information that Internal Affairs investigators used to corroborate her allegations. Her name has not been disclosed, but she is expected to testify, if needed.
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
Inclement weather delays COVID-19 vaccine shipments, CDC says
Maryland’s already-scarce vaccine supply could be strained further as shipments of vaccines from federal government have been delayed because of inclement weather, federal and state officials said Tuesday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told states Tuesday afternoon that vaccine shipments from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna were delayed by winter storms sweeping across the country, Mike Ricci, spokesman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, said in a tweet.
Ricci said federal officials warned governors earlier Tuesday that winter weather could affect vaccine shipments, and that Maryland health officials had already told local providers Monday about the possibility of delays.
Doses from Moderna were not shipped Monday and doses the company shipped over the weekend will go out for delivery Tuesday depending on local weather conditions, the CDC said. New shipments of the Moderna vaccine scheduled to go out Tuesday will be held back. Shipments of Moderna had to be pulled back last week because of weather, too.
The medical distribution company, McKesson, will reschedule shipments once weather conditions allow them to proceed, the CDC told states.
Pfizer vaccines scheduled to be shipped out Monday were not, while a limited amount of vaccine shipments were being processed Tuesday for shipment through Indianapolis, the CDC said. Meanwhile, vaccine shipments from Pfizer that made it into “local markets” over the weekend for delivery Monday and Tuesday should still make it to providers, pending local weather conditions.
Ricci said in an email the weather-related delays “will have a significant impact our providers.”
— The Baltimore Sun
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