Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribe Wells Fargo Settles With HUD Over Maternity Leave Discrimination Complaints Discrimination Fair Housing Act HUD Maternity Leave Settlement Wells Fargo 2014-10-09 Brian Honea Print This Post Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Previous: DS News Webcast: Thursday 10/9/2014 Next: Investor Appeals Judge’s Dismissal of GSE Profits Lawsuit About Author: Brian Honea October 9, 2014 1,657 Views Related Articles The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Wells Fargo Settles With HUD Over Maternity Leave Discrimination Complaints Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has reached a $5 million settlement with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the largest provider of residential mortgage loans in the nation, to resolve allegations that Wells Fargo discriminated against women who were either pregnant or on maternity leave, HUD announced Thursday.HUD reported that 190 discrimination complaints related to maternity leave have been filed since 2010, which had resulted in 40 settlements for a combined total of about $1.5 million prior to Thursday’s settlement. The complainants say their respective lenders are in violation of the Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status for any real estate transaction.The complaints covered in Thursday’s settlement were filed by six families from five states (Nevada, Nebraska, Texas, Arizona, and California). As part of the settlement, Wells Fargo agreed to distribute $165,000 to the six families and create a fund with at least $3.5 million to compensate other Wells Fargo applicants who claim to have experienced maternity leave-related discrimination at the time they applied for a loan. Wells Fargo also agreed to pay up to 175 claimants $20,000 each; if there are more than 175 claimants, Wells Fargo will replenish the fund with $1.5 million and pay the next 75 claimants $20,000 each. If there are more than 250 claimants, claimants after 250 will receive a pro-rated share of the $5 million.”The settlement is significant for the six families who had the courage to file complaints, and for countless other families who will no longer fear losing out on a home simply because they are expecting a baby,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro said. “I’m committed to leveling the playing field for all families when it comes to mortgage lending. These types of settlements get us closer to ensuring that no qualified family will be singled out for discrimination.”Wells Fargo will also change its underwriting policies to ensure they are not discriminatory as part of the settlement. The lender agreed to implement new Temporary Leave Guidelines and issue instructions to their staff on how to implement them. Also as part of the settlement, Wells Fargo did not admit to any violation of the Fair Housing Act.The six complaints allege that Wells Fargo made loans unavailable to families based on familial status, forced women to give up their maternity leave and return to work before their loans closed, and made discriminatory statements toward women applicants who were either pregnant or had recently given birth.”We resolved these claims to avoid a lengthy legal dispute so we can continue to serve the needs of our customers,” Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda said. “Our underwriting is consistent with longstanding fair and responsible lending practices and our policies do not require that applicants on temporary leave return to work before being approved. HUD found no violation of the Fair Housing Act or any other law by Wells Fargo. The agreement resolves claims related to only five loan applications from a period when Wells Fargo processed a total of approximately 3 million applications from female customers.”Several lenders have settled with HUD over maternity leave-based discrimination complaints since 2010. In November 2013, Bank of America settled with HUD for $45,000 to resolve such complaints, and Cornerstone Bank settled for $750,000 in 2011, according to HUD. Tagged with: Discrimination Fair Housing Act HUD Maternity Leave Settlement Wells Fargo Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News
Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The current insurance system leaves too many homeowners vulnerable when disaster strikes even with private insurance policies playing a major role. According to a recent report by the Urban Institute, the number of flood insurance policies in force through the National Flood Insurance Program decreasing over the past decade further complicated the issue. In light of these factors, the recent stance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on federal policies gained importance.FEMA’s StanceCongress had passed legislation that extended the National Flood Insurance Program to May 31, 2019, before the partial shutdown on the December 21. However, on December 26, in a stance that was contrary to the ones it had taken during past shutdowns, FEMA, said that insurers would not be allowed to issue and renew federal policies during the shutdown.Apart from National Association of Realtors (NAR), organizations such as the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and the Congress expressed their concerns urging the agency to reevaluate its decision. FEMA was quick to address the concerns and reverse its policy disallowing new or renewal flood insurance policies during the shutdown and announced a reversal of the unexpected ruling the agency released earlier, on December 28. Why This MattersNAR estimates that the FEMA ruling disallowing insurance could have affected home sales across America, as its research revealed the possibility of up to disruptions in 40,000 closings each month that the NFIP cannot issue flood insurance policies—making flood insurance imperative especially at a time when market disruption would be extremely hard-felt.A recent report by CoreLogic revealed that serious delinquencies have recorded an upward spike in disaster-affected areas. “The real estate and mortgage industries have been hard hit by the almost unprecedented wave of natural disasters across the country over the past few years. While no one has endured more than the homeowners whose properties were destroyed or badly damaged, there are definitely some significant implications for the industry going forward – and those implications go far beyond the inconvenience of short-term spikes in delinquencies. Lenders, for example, will need to carefully consider whether or not it even makes sense to continue offering mortgage loans in frequently-hit by natural disaster areas, and which may or may not be covered by the battered and bruised Federal Flood Insurance Program. Servicers will need to look closely at their potential losses, particularly when managing loans insured by government agencies. Property insurers will certainly adjust premiums to address increased levels of risk,” said Rick Sharga, EVP of Carrington Mortgage. Carrington Mortgage FEMA government shutdown NAR Rick Sharga The Urban Institute 2019-01-03 Donna Joseph About Author: Donna Joseph Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Donna Joseph is a Dallas-based writer who covers technology, HR best practices, and a mix of lifestyle topics. She is a seasoned PR professional with an extensive background in content creation and corporate communications. Joseph holds a B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Mass Communication, both from the University of Bangalore, India. She is currently working on two books, both dealing with women-centric issues prevalent in oppressive as well as progressive societies. She can be reached at [email protected] January 3, 2019 1,475 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save Tagged with: Carrington Mortgage FEMA government shutdown NAR Rick Sharga The Urban Institute The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Analyzing Mortgage Delinquency Performance Next: California’s Role in the National Housing Recovery Related Articles In Times of Emergency Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Loss Mitigation, News The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / In Times of Emergency Subscribe
Experts including CBA believe RBA won’t move on rates again until February 2020 when it will drop the cash rate target to 0.5 per cent. Picture: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images.The Reserve Bank will hold off on any further cuts until February, as it slows Australia’s plunge towards an unprecedented zero interest rate in 2020.Two thirds of economists and experts in the latest Finder Cash Rate Survey believe RBA will keep its powder dry at Tuesday’s RBA board monetary policy meeting, opting instead for a February cut to a record low 0.5 per cent. One fifth think that rate cut will still happen this year at the RBA board meeting three weeks before Christmas. MORE: Property sales ramping up Holiday home of toilet brush pioneer for sale Upyards the new way of life More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours agoVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:36Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:36 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhat do QLD buyers want?00:36 Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 Finder insights manager Graham Cooke warned the RBA’s cuts have had little impact so far, “We’ve seen multiple references to the RBA firing blanks with these cuts and running out of bullets in the process. If true, it’s hard to believe that flogging the same horse will produce a different result,” he said.“The RBA has not spoken fondly about negative interest rates in other countries, so I’d expect extra cash to be printed before we see a zero or subzero cash rate.”Mr Cooke said “market behaviour is hugely driven by psychology and we need to be careful not to talk ourselves into a recession”. The Australian Stock Exchange RBA Rate Indicator has also swung strongly against a cut now. “As at 1 November, the ASX 30 Day Interbank Cash Rate Futures November 2019 contract was trading at 99.265, indicating a 7 per cent expectation of an interest rate decrease to 0.50 per cent at the next RBA Board meeting,” an ASX statement said.Michael Blythe, chief economist of one of Australia’s Big Four – the Commonwealth Bank – was among those favouring a February cut to 0.5 per cent.Mr Blythe said RBA already had three cuts “in the bag” this year and had a strong “belief that some aspects of UMP (Unconventional Monetary Policy), like negative rates, are ‘extraordinarily unlikely’”.“The market is questioning whether the terminal rate will in fact be 0.5 per cent or lower,” he said. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK
Hyderabad: Having conquered Delhi in their own backyard, a high on confidence Sunrisers Hyderabad will now take on Mumbai Indians in the second header on Saturday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Mumbai too will be wearing a confident look after beating defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their last encounter.It will indeed be a battle of equals when both teams look to carry their winning momentum forward. While SRH have looked the most balanced unit in the competition so far, everyone knows that Mumbai Indians can turn any game upside down on their day. It will come down to both teams looking to do the basics right.The support of the Orange Army will definitely augur well for Hyderabad and the kind of form the openers have shown – Jonny Bairstow and David Warner – means that the Mumbai bowlers will have their task cut out. But the Mumbai Indians bowling too has shown sparks and Jason Behrendorff showed what he is capable of when he derailed the CSK batting right at the top in the last encounter.But Mumbai Indians will definitely miss the services of Lasith Malinga as the Sri Lankan has flown back to play domestic cricket in an effort to be eligible for selection for the World Cup squad. All-rounder Hardik Pandya’s return to form augurs well for the visitors as they will look at him to not only finish the innings on a high, but also pick crucial wickets in the middle of the innings.When it comes to the bowling, SRH have one of the best attacks in the tournament. While stand-in skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar returning to form against Delhi Capitals on Thursday was a welcome sight, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have already shown what they are capable of on Indian tracks which have all taken turn.With the Uppal wicket likely to be a sporting one, it will definitely be a battle of equals on Saturday as SRH and MI both look to bag two points from the game. IANSAlso Read: SPORTS NEWS
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Alarm bells continued to ring for West Indies ahead of their campaign in the ICC Under-19 World Cup next month when they slumped to their fourth defeat in five matches in the Tri-Nations Series here yesterday.Asked to chase their highest total of the tournament, after Sri Lanka posted 234 for nine off their 50 overs, West Indies Under-19s folded meekly for 104 inside the 35th over, to go down by 130 runs at Coolidge Cricket Ground.The hosts have now not won a game since their opener against England nine days ago at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.Once again, they owed their heavy defeat to their listless batting which had previously yielded totals of 164, 140, 137 and 116.Kevlon Anderson top-scored with 25 while openers Mbeki Joseph and Kimani Melius both scored 20 but the remainder of the batting struggled against leg-spinner Kavindu Nadeeshan who snatched four for 17 and left-arm spinner Dilum Sudheera who claimed three for 10.Middle-order batsman Nipun Dananjaya had earlier missed out on three figures when he was dismissed for 91, as Sri Lanka flourished following an uncertain start.Ravindu Rasantha chipped in with 43 and Sudheera got 27, efforts which helped the tourists to recover from 95 for six in the 27th over.Fast bowler Matthew Forde was the Windies’ best bowler with four for 31 while off-spinner Avinash Mahabirsingh supported with two for 42.Sri Lanka were tottering on 16 for two in the ninth over before Rasantha, who struck four fours and a six off 59 balls, rebuilt the innings in a 62-run, third-wicket partnership with Ahan Wickramasinghe (14).When Rasantha was bowled by Forde in the 19th over, Sri Lanka had lost four wickets for 17 runs before captain Dananjaya came to their aid in a knock that required 98 balls and included two fours and half-dozen sixes.Importantly, he added 67 for the seventh wicket with Sudeera and a further 31 for the ninth with Nadeeshan (11).In reply, Joseph and captain Melius put on 39 for the first wicket before the rot set in, with West Indies losing nine wickets for 65 runs with Ramon Simmons unable to bat.Melius played across one and was lbw to Sudeera in the 15th over and off the very next delivery, left-hander Leonardo Julien played back and was trapped lbw on the crease.When Joseph was deceived by a slower ball from seamer Kavishka Gamage and also fell lbw in the 18th over, West Indies were slumping quickly at 50 for three but Anderson arrived to inspire a 30-run fourth-wicket stand with Kirk McKenzie (15).Anderson struck two fours in a 41-ball knock but once he lost McKenzie in the 27th over, bowled missing a tentative drive at a full-length googly from Nadeeshan, the innings fell away again.
“The whole idea he (the acting chairman) is coming up with is to lay a solid foundation for sports in the region. He wants to do it by putting in place sports infrastructures in all the nooks and crannies of the region. “Communities and neighborhoods would have recreational sports centres where the youths can go and train.“That way, the youths can engage in sports rather than idle away. This is a new direction that would see NDDC using sports to combat youth restiveness,” the source hinted.He stressed that NDDC has over the years been doing a good job in the area of road construction, provision of water and electricity to communities without paying much attention to sports.“Sports is going to receive good attention moving forward given the new blueprint the NDDC leadership is working on and they intend to get an expert who understands the sports terrain, especially in the area of sports facilities to partner it,” the informed source concluded.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is planning big for sports, if the vision of the commission’s acting Chairman Prof. Nelson Braimbraifa is anything to go by.A competent NDDC source disclosed early this week that Braimbraifa, a lover of sports has identified the need to use sports to woo Niger Delta youths and harness their sports potentials.According to sources within the commission, the NDDC boss is coming up with a blueprint for sports with special focus on putting in place state of the art sports facilities in most Niger Delta communities. Nelson Braimbraifa
Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams is once again facing the heat over yet another verbal attack against the judiciary.Williams, speaking in the capacity as Chairman of the People’s National Congress (PNC) to the party’s General Council over the weekend, conveyed the impression that the judiciary is plotting against the Government.“For the first time in 23 years, orders have been made by Judges in our courts against the President, Prime Minister and Attorney General, without giving them a hearing,” he is quoted as saying.Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil WilliamsBut his contention is deemed as another unwarranted assault on the integrity of the judiciary and has already been described as another in a series of attempts to sap the judiciary of its independence and autonomy.Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall explained that to his knowledge, no order has been granted against President David Granger without a hearing and he called upon the Attorney General to produce evidence to support his wild assertions.Nonetheless, Nandlall pointed out that in any event, it is trite and settled law that though the President is personally immune from suit, his actions are not.Former Attorney GeneralAnil Nandlall“They are lawfully challengeable by proceedings filed against the Attorney General. A number of legal challenges have been filed against presidential actions, decisions and conduct through the Attorney General, over the past 23 years,” he stated.Nandlall further explained that presidential actions and decisions are not exempted and if the justice of the case demands it, then conservatory orders can be issued and have known to be granted, ex-parte, against such actions/decisions.With regards to the Prime Minister and the Attorney General on the other hand, Nandlall posited that in the eyes of the law, they do not enjoy any special authority.“They stand before the law on the same footing as every other public officer. In fit and proper cases, ex-parte orders can be made against them,” he explained.The legal luminary added, “There is only one exception. In private law matters, prohibitory or coercive orders cannot be made against the State, as per the State Liabilities and Proceedings Act. However, this Act has no applicability in constitutional or public law proceedings. Therefore, it is perfectly proper and lawful for ex-parte orders to be made against the Prime Minister and the Attorney General in appropriate cases in constitutional or public law litigation.”Nandlall surmised that Williams’ intention was to mislead a substantial political block of persons in this country and to pit them against the judiciary by dishonestly conveying the impression that the judiciary is against them.He contended that this “ominous and dangerous development” drags the judiciary baselessly into the political realm which can result in an erosion of public confidence in the legal system.“It is equally clear that the Attorney-General is laying the foundation to cast further blame on and to ascribe more improper motives to the judiciary whenever they do not rule in accordance with his expectations, irrespective of how weak the cases are or, however infantile and misconceived the legal submissions may be,” Nandlall stated.He posited that no democratic society governed by the rule of law can afford to stay silent in the face of these atrocities.“The judiciary must function fearlessly and operate in an atmosphere free from fear. This constant barrage of attacks and intimidation must end now,” the former Attorney General emphasised. These attacks against the judiciary came after the Chancellor, Justice Carl Singh dismissed a State-sponsored appeal which ultimately quashed the racial incitement charge brought against former President Bharrat Jagdeo by a private citizen.
Two fossil discoveries are generating a lot of news from a single bone. The first is a dinosaur hip. The second is a human finger. How much weight can a single bone carry?Australian tyrannosaur: The tyrannosaurid dinosaurs had a distinctive hip bone. Live Science cast any doubt on the claims: “it’s still a hypothesis that will need to be backed up by further research.” Nevertheless, Science Daily was confident that “This find has major significance for our knowledge of how this group of dinosaurs evolved.”Finger pointing: What does a pinky finger bone in Siberia say? A lot, according to the science media. National Geographic claims it represents a new kind of human. The BBC News gave the bone a name right out of Hollywood: X-Woman. Because mitochondrial DNA was extracted from her 40,000 year old cells, X-Woman can now tell her amazing story of having evolved in Africa and migrating to the far reaches of Asia. This migration, the scientists tell us, was separate from the other hypothesized migrations of human ancestors and represents a whole new chapter in human evolution. Science Daily announced, “New Human Species Discovered.” One finger yielded a tribe of “previously unknown hominins,” the headline blared. PhysOrg called it a new branch on the human family tree, but did include some doubts about the interpretations. The doubts are drowned out by shouts of overconfidence: “As shown by a detailed analysis of the mitochondrial genome, these hominins shared a common ancestor with modern humans and Neanderthals about 1.0 million years ago,” Science Daily told its readers. “In addition, the age of the fossil suggests that these unknown people in Southern Siberia lived close in time and space with Neanderthals as well as with modern humans.” Some of the reporters are even ready to tell the relationship of X-Woman and her people to the hobbits of Indonesia – all based on a single pinky finger.Scientists used to respect “evidential modesty.” They used to restrict their interpretations to observable facts, and check each other’s extrapolations via a culture of peer pressure that discouraged unwarranted assertions. As Colin Macilwain pointed out last month (02/18/2010), a weekly routine has grown in science reporting that “converts original scientific findings, via a production line of embargoed press releases from journals and universities, into a steady stream of largely uncritical stories.”You thought it was just the cosmologists who had gone stark raving mad (03/19/2010). Evolutionists and their lackeys in the news are completely out of control. If this keeps up, they will lose what little credibility they have left. The strong evidence for design is being completely ignored, and the tiniest finger bone that gives the Darwin storytellers something to yack about for the media gets front page coverage, especially if it “sheds light on evolution” by one black-light photon aimed at empty space. It’s disgraceful. Who will shame them back to the founding principles of science? Who will hold their feet to the fire of logical integrity? Who will remind them of the reasonable limits of evidential modesty? We can’t do it alone. Join the Dragnet campaign: tell a scientist, “Just the Facts, Please!”(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLES Alex Wilson: Avoid Unvented Gas HeatersMartin’s Useless Products ListThe Hazards of Cooking With GasQ&A: Ventless propane heaters in crawl space Q&A: What would cause water dripping from a cedar cathedral ceiling? First of all, let’s call it what it really is. The industry likes the term “vent-free” when talking about gas fireplaces that keep all the exhaust gases in your home. I prefer the term “ventless” or, even better, “unvented.” Some people suggest “room-vented” or “lung-vented.”Not a huge deal, but the ventless gas industry wants you to feel that you’re being liberated of a burden by not having an exhaust vent. I think it’s important for people to know that they’re actually missing something important when they go with a ventless gas appliance.Second, unvented gas fireplaces are a liability. I wouldn’t have one in my house and advise those who do have one either to remove it, replace it, or just not use it.Yes, I know that some people love them and have never had a problem with theirs. Those people have commented in some of my previous articles criticizing these appliances. I also know, however, that plenty of people with unvented gas fireplaces complain of headaches and other problems.Before we get into the fun stuff, let me address the question of how to determine if your gas fireplace is vented or not, just in case. The answer is quite simple. You put your head into the fireplace (remember to turn it off first!) and look up. If there’s a hole, it’s vented. In the photo below, all I saw was a steel plate with no hole. A fireplace dealer who refuses to sell unvented fireplacesYesterday I got an email from Perry Bumpers. His company, Fireplace Creations by BMC, sells gas fireplaces in Tennessee, and I linked to his website in my Bob Vila article. I didn’t know him then and have never communicated with him until he wrote to me yesterday. I linked to his site because he refuses to sell unvented gas fireplaces and proclaims so publicly on his website.He reached out to me to tell me that every year in the heating season, they get a lot of complaints from people who have ventless gas fireplaces in their homes. They want to find out if it’s really true that these appliances could be the cause of their health problems and what they can do about it. While he was writing to me, he said he had a man in his showroom whose wife sent him there to “get the correct information about their vent-free logs they have in there home. She had told him go to BMC and get the facts, that she was not crazy, that the logs were making her head hurt and making her sick.”Bumpers wrote that they’ve done about 40 estimates to replace ventless gas fireplaces with direct-vent models so far this season and have replaced about 10. The others would like to do it, he told me, but they don’t have the money for it yet.The main reasons their customers give for wanting to replace the ventless models are “complaints about bad smell, soot, moisture and health-related issues.” Because of all that he knows about unvented gas fireplaces and the complaints he hears from people who use them, he wrote, “It’s mind-boggling to me that vent-free products are still being sold.”It’s nice to see companies choose to do the right thing, as Vendituoli and Bumpers do, even if it means losing some business. As Bumpers wrote to me, “We will never stop trying to make sure the consumer has the facts about ventfree products.”I know it’s unlikely that these things will go away anytime soon (although we can hope!), but the more people find out about these problems, the better. As homeowners doing their research find out the truth and turn away from these ventless gas fireplaces, homes become safer. An article that just won’t quitI’ve written about combustion safety in the Energy Vanguard Blog a number of times, and will continue to do so, because it’s such an important part of building science and home performance. The most popular article of all over the past six months has been Bob Vila and the Vent-Free Gas Fireplace — A Sorry State of Affairs, which I wrote over a year ago. Lately it’s been getting between 200 and 400 views every day.Why is this article so popular? I think it’s because a lot of people are looking to understand the issues. More than a few are feeling ill when they use unvented fireplaces, and they want to confirm their suspicions. These things are in a lot of houses now, and people are buying those homes without knowing of the problems.Occasionally, people insist on getting the unvented gas fireplace. Todd Vendituoli, a contractor/blogger in Vermont/Bahamas, commented in the Bob Vila article that he lost a client because they absolutely did not want a vented model. Years later, Todd ran into them and they told him “that the fireplace was a mistake and had taken it out.”You can read the full article about the nonsense on Bob Vila’s website, but let me repeat the main reasons that ventless gas fireplaces are bad:Even when working perfectly, they put a lot of water vapor into the house. (See my article on how combustion of natural gas works.)Drafts, fans, candles, and tight houses can mess up the combustion process.Many homeowners don’t understand how to operate or maintain them.If you read the articles I linked to and the comments, you’ll see that there’s a very good reason that you won’t find people who understand building science recommending these things.