Last updated: June 19. 2013 10:59PM - 658 Views

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MILAN


Fashionably late with their taxes


Sophia Loren wore green silk and sunglasses for her date with the taxman, Luciano Pavarotti a suit and sneakers. Diego Maradona gave up his diamond stud earring to pay off a tax debt.


Some of Italy’s most well-heeled residents have come under the glare of successive governments who have declared wars on tax evasion, yet it remains a perennial problem for the debt-laden nation. On Wednesday, it was the turn of designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.


A Milan court on Wednesday convicted Dolce and Gabbana of tax evasion for failing to declare 200 million euros ($268 million) through a Luxembourg company to Italian authorities. They received a one year and eight months suspended jail sentence and were ordered to pay a penalty of 500,000 euros (about $670,000) to tax authorities.


NEW YORK


Foreclosure wait too long: Report


Homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure must wait too long for their loan modification applications to be reviewed by some of the nation’s top mortgage servicers, according to a report released Wednesday. Such delays can plunge borrowers deeper in debt.


Joseph A. Smith Jr., the independent monitor of last year’s national mortgage settlement, said that while the banks are doing a better job complying with new mortgage servicing rules, more needs to be done.


Smith, whose office conducted 29 performance tests on how five of the largest U.S. mortgage servicers are meeting the new rules, said the banks need to do a better job collecting customer records and notifying borrowers in a timely manner about decisions on their applications, including when there are any missing documents


The banks should also provide borrowers with a knowledgeable and helpful person as a single point of contact to make it easier for applicants to keep track of their request, Smith said. Most of the nearly 60,000 complaints Smith’s office had received in recent months were related to the lack of a single point of contact at the mortgage servicer for borrowers.

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