Pacific Northwest Linden Home Loans of Kirkland has settled state charges that it used "bait-and-switch tactics" in its mortgage-loan advertising...

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Pacific Northwest

Financial services

Kirkland lender settles with state

Linden Home Loans of Kirkland has settled state charges that it used “bait-and-switch tactics” in its mortgage-loan advertising.

Linden and its owners, Christopher Opdyke and Mark Sullivan, agreed to pay a $75,000 fine and $4,000 in costs, the state Department of Financial Institutions said Thursday. They also agreed to a 30-day suspension of their state business licenses. The firm already had voluntarily surrendered its mortgage broker’s license last month.

According to department charges filed in December, Linden ran radio ads in 2006 for home loans at “1 percent interest, with no points and no fees.” However, a state investigation found none of Linden’s 2006 customers received those terms.

Aviation

Azerbaijan carrier orders Boeing jets

Boeing announced an order Thursday from Azerbaijan Airlines that also involved the cancellation of one 787 Dreamliner order.

The Azerbaijani national carrier ordered two 767s and two 737-900ERs. But one of the 767s substitutes for one of three 787s ordered in February 2007.

Supply-chain problems have delayed 787 deliveries two years and more to some customers, and the airline needed a plane sooner.

The order and cancellation bring Boeing’s net order total through the first seven months of the year to 551 aircraft, compared with 711 aircraft for Airbus.

Airbus’ new jet program, the A350, is at a prime sales phase, while 787 orders have slowed as the jet is sold out for years into the future. The European plane maker’s sales tally was swelled by a large haul last month at the Farnborough Air Show.

Real estate

Eastside offices fetch $38 million

An office complex in Bellevue’s Overlake area has been sold for $38.5 million. It’s the largest sale of an office property in King County so far this year, according to county records.

The two-building, 143,000-square-foot Oakhurst Center on Northeast 24th Street near Highway 520 was purchased this week by a corporation associated with Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, a subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance.

The seller was the financial-services firm TIAA-CREF, county records indicate. Oakhurst Center was built in 1985.

Few large office buildings in the Seattle area have changed hands this year, a marked contrast to 2007 when many downtown Seattle and Bellevue office towers were sold — some of them twice.

Economy

Per capita income in Seattle up 6.9%

Per capita personal income in metropolitan Seattle rose 6.9 percent last year and remained near the top of the nation, according to data released Thursday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The average income per person in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area was $48,499, up from $45,369 in 2006, according to the agency. The area ranked 13th among 363 metro areas in per capita personal income

The Bremerton-Silverdale area ranked 41st, with per capita personal income of $41,883.

Nationally, the average per capita income last year was $38,632, up 5.2 percent.

Telecommunications

T-Mobile adds new subscribers

T-Mobile USA, the country’s fourth-largest wireless carrier, said Thursday that it added a net 668,000 new subscribers in the second quarter, for a total of 31.5 million.

Net customer additions were down from 981,000 in the first quarter, and from 857,000 in the second quarter last year.

The slowing growth was mainly due to the defection of customers who were on contracts, Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA said. It introduced two-year contracts in April 2006, and a batch of customers became free to leave in the recent quarter.

“Churn,” or the percentage of customers who leave each month, was at 1.9 percent in the quarter for those who pay monthly, up from 1.7 percent in the first quarter and 1.8 percent a year ago.

T-Mobile USA is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom.

Manufacturing

Titus Tool to close down permanently

The Titus Tool factory in Kent will close permanently in four or five months, a company official said Thursday.

The state Department of Employment Security said Titus notified it this week that 50 employees would be laid off permanently starting Nov. 30.

Titus Tool is a subsidiary of Titus International, a British company that designs and manufactures fasteners and accessories for the self-assembly furniture industry, according to the company’s Web site.

Nation / World

Employment

New jobless claims highest in 6 years

The nation’s jobs market sent a fresh cry of distress as the number of newly laid off people unexpectedly hit the highest level in more than six years, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

The faltering economy and tight credit have forced companies to cut back, and as the job market shrinks, consumer spending may dwindle, too. Companies are laying off workers as they struggle with slowing customer demand, harder-to-get credit and high costs for fuel and other raw materials.

New applications rose last week by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 455,000, the department said in its weekly report. That was the most since late March 2002, when the job market was struggling to get back on its feet after the 2001 recession.

Transportation

American Airlines to alter mileage plan

It could soon cost you more miles to earn a free trip on American Airlines.

American, which invented the mileage program 25 years ago, said Thursday it will raise fees and mileage requirements for upgrades and free trips.

Under changes that take effect Oct. 1, an upgrade from economy coach on a domestic flight will cost $50, plus the 15,000 miles that was already required.

Miles and fees for upgrades were also raised on international flights.

The airline told members of its AAdvantage frequent-flier program of the changes in an e-mail message. Its moves follow changes at Delta Air Lines’s mileage program last week.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff and The Associated Press