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Bank of the Cascades-Home Federal merger completed (access required)

Bank of the Cascades completed its $265 million acquisition of Home Federal Bank. The combined bank closed six branches because of the close proximity to other bank branches. The bank also pledged to lend $2 billion in the next three ...

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First-time homebuyers feel the pinch (access required)

First-time homebuyers are feeling the pinch as they try to enter a competitive housing market. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, first-time buyers accounted for 26 percent of home purchases in January 2014, down from 27 percent ...

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LiveRez engaged in vacation rental software “tug of war” (access required)

Tracy Lotz started building websites for vacation rentals in 1994, and though his company has changed considerably, he’s still the small fish fending off large corporate competitors. Eagle-based LiveRez Inc. primarily focuses on a sliver of this market, professionally managed ...

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Lotus goes out-of-state for bank financing (access required)

Lotus Vaping Technologies is a growing distributor and seller of e-cigarette equipment and “e-juice,” but the Garden City company had to go out of state to get a line of credit at a bank. After looking unsuccessfully in Idaho, Lotus ...

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Auto lending revs up (access required)

Even as some competitors exit the space, many banks are ramping up automobile lending. With rates at near-historic lows, car sales are soaring. That hasn’t stopped Florida-based BankUnited from ending its auto-lending operations – sources say the shutdown is in ...

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As refinancing slows, lenders loosen their strings (access required)

With mortgage refinancing slowing significantly, lenders are easing up on certain stringent standards and casting a wider customer net. But some mortgage brokers say the changes won’t do much to attract business, since the loans come with bigger down payments ...

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Genetically modified foods confuse US consumers

Genetically modified foods have been around for years, but most Americans have no idea if they are eating them. The Food and Drug Administration says they don’t need to be labeled. But in the first major victory for consumers who ...

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U.S. Supreme Court rulings could check ‘patent troll’ claims (access required)

U.S. Supreme Court rulings giving federal District Court judges more flexibility in awarding attorney fees to prevailing parties in patent suits could help curb the recent uptick in abusive patent litigation. Decisions in Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & ...

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Study says staging doesn’t help, but realtors beg to differ (access required)

Many realtors swear by the practice of staging homes, arranging furniture, wall coverings and knicknacks to show what a home for sale would look like if it were occupied. But an academic study called “The Impact of Staging Conditions on ...

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