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California Lawmakers Pass Historic Foreclosure Protections

LA Times - California lawmakers have passed legislation that would provide homeowners with some of the nation's strongest protections from foreclosure and such aggressive bank practices as seizing a home while the owner is negotiating to lower mortgage payments.

After years of distress in the housing and mortgage markets, during which lenders seized nearly a million California houses, legislators Monday sent a pair of Assembly and Senate bills to Gov. Jerry Brown designed to help financially troubled borrowers stay in their homes.  Read more.

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Every autumn, Victorians swarmed into the woods to collect ferns. From the 1850s until Queen Victoria’s demise, pteridomania (meaning “fern mania”) engulfed Victorians on both sides of the Atlantic. Almost every house had a potted fern. Those who could afford to, kept rare fern varieties “under the ample bell-glass, or in the Wardian case… to enliven the parlor window in the wintry season of the year.”  There were fern books, fern societies, and florists bulked out floral arrangements with ferns. Fern-collecting went beyond past-time to become an occupation.  Read more.