PSC begins hearing on Constellation-EDF
Constellation Energy Group has acceded to state energy regulators' investigation of whether its $4.5 billion merger with France's largest utility, Electricite de France, will have an impact on the region's regulated utility, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. But it is asking the Public Service Commission to make an expedited decision by May 31, so as not to threaten the closing of the deal and the financial condition of the company. Constellation has also asked the PSC not to look at how the deal would affect ratepayers because it first needs to decide how it will affect BGE. "Constellation Energy and BGE are confident that the Commission will conclude that EDF is not acquiring substantial influence over BGE," spokesman Rob Gould said yesterday. The PSC began a hearing on the issue yesterday, but did not come to any decision. It will resume the hearing Tuesday. Constellation agreed in December to sell nearly half of its nuclear power business to EDF.
Andrea K. Walker
Fannie Mae extends eviction moratorium
WASHINGTON : Government-controlled mortgage finance company Fannie Mae said yesterday that it is extending a halt to evictions on foreclosed properties through the end of this month as it implements pieces of the Obama administration's plan to help struggling homeowners. Fannie Mae's extension comes two weeks after the company announced its moratorium on foreclosure-related evictions, which was initially to run through yesterday. On Thursday, Freddie Mac, another mortgage finance giant controlled by the government, took a similar action, extending its moratorium on foreclosure-related evictions through April 1. Fannie Mae also issued foreclosure sale requirements yesterday in response to President Barack Obama's Making Home Affordable program, intended to help 9 million struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. A foreclosure sale may not occur on any Fannie Mae loan until the loan servicer verifies that the borrower is ineligible for loan-modification criteria set in Obama's plan, and other foreclosure prevention alternatives have been exhausted, Fannie Mae said. More than 2.3 million homeowners faced foreclosure proceedings last year, an 81 percent increase from 2007.
Freedom Bank of Ga. is 17th to fail this year
WASHINGTON: Regulators have shut down Freedom Bank of Georgia, marking the 17th failure this year of a federally insured bank. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has been appointed receiver of the bank in Commerce, Ga. It had about $173 million in assets and $161 million in deposits as of March 4. The FDIC says the bank's deposits will be assumed by Northeast Georgia Bank in Lavonia, Ga. Its four branches will reopen Monday as offices of Northeast Georgia Bank.