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Law & Accounting

Wells Fargo quietly sends checks to sidestep mortgage suits

Thousands of Wells Fargo & Co. home loan customers recently received a surprise in the mail: refund checks from the big bank, along with letters saying they had paid unnecessary fees for their mortgages, the Los Angeles Times reports. The unsolicited offers of thousands of dollars arrived with a catch — if the borrowers cash the checks, they can’t later ...

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AG Hood joins effort to protect states' payday lending laws

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has joined at least 40 other states’ legal officers in opposing legislation in Congress that could pre-empt states’ authority in governing payday lending businesses. Hood says in a news release that the bill in Congress would allow payday lenders, installment lenders, car title lenders, prepaid card issuers and check cashers to obtain a federal charter ...

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Analysis: Sixth Amendment ruling sets no precedent

In a case from Harrison County, the Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled on the right of a defendant to confront his accusers — a basic right in the U.S. Constitution. Robert Jenkins wanted to question the analyst who tested the illegal drugs he was accused of possessing. Instead, prosecutors put on the stand a laboratory supervisor who only reviewed and ...

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House Speaker Gunn seeking citizen views on legislative issues

  Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn will travel the state next week for a series of town hall-style meetings to gather comments and suggestions in preparation for the 2013 legislative session. The meetings will take place the week of Oct. 8, and each meeting will last for an hour and 15 minutes. Here’s the schedule: Monday, Oct. 8, 
9 a.m. ...

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SBA extending direct loans to coastal businesses, residents in wake of Isaac

  Hurricane Isaac’s late August battering of the Mississippi coast has left an estimated 1,500 businesses eligibility for low-cost federal disaster recovery loans administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In addition to disaster assistance applications from 1,558 businesses that claim at least some property damage, another 27 businesses that had no physical damage but claim economic injuries have applied ...

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Merger gives Balch & Bingham Florida presence

Balch & Bingham, a Birmingham-based law firm with an office in Jackson, has merged with Jacksonville, Fla.’s Stoneburner Berry Glocker Purcell & Greenhut, a six-attorney firm known for its banking, transactional and wealth management practices. The merger marks Balch & Bingham’s first expansion into Florida and increases the firm’s business and financial services practices. Balch & Bingham’s Jackson office in ...

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Justice Department upholds Mississippi’s new state House, Senate districts

  The U.S. Justice Department has approved Mississippi’s redistricting plans for the state House and Senate. Legislative leaders received word of the approval Friday, the Associated Press reported. The 122 House districts and 52 Senate districts had to be redrawn to reflect population shifts revealed by the 2010 Census. Lawmakers approved new plans in the spring. Any election changes in ...

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Police in legal minefield on Ariz. immigration law

More than two years after it was signed into law, the most contentious part of Arizona’s landmark immigration legislation is expected to go into effect following a federal court ruling issue late last Wednesday. But the U.S. Supreme Court laid a legal minefield that Arizona now must navigate when the critical provision takes effect. The clause, one of the few ...

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