Slain Cleveland police officer’s funeral changed to Rocket Mortgage Field House

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The funeral for slain Cleveland police Det. James Skernivitz will now take place at Rocket Mortgage Field House instead of The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland.

The start time for the service changed from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the arena that is the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Skernivitz, a 22-year police veteran, is survived by a wife and three children. Calling hours are from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the A. Ripepi and Sons Funeral Home in Middleburg Heights.

Skervinitz was working undercover on Thursday with informant Scott Dingess. Both sat in Skernivitz’s unmarked police car behind a mostly abandoned strip mall on West 67th Place, near the intersection of West 65th Street and Storer Avenue.

Three people walked up to the car and opened fire, according to police and court records. Both Skernivitz and Dingess died.

Cleveland police wrote in court records that they believe the shooting was part of an attempted robbery.

Skernivitz worked as an undercover detective in the department’s gang unit. Undercover officers wear plain clothes, drive unmarked cars and do not wear body cameras.

Three people — ages 18, 17 and 15 — are charged in connection with the shooting.

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Mortgage demand surges by 40 percent from a year ago amid house-buying spree, low rates

The end of August usually marks the beginning of the slow season for housing, but as with everything else, this year’s trends are like no other.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 3 percent last week from the previous week and were a stunning 40 percent higher from a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

The year-on-year comparison is usually in single digits.

While the figure may have been skewed slightly by the Labor Day holiday, which fell earlier last year, purchase demand is still running significantly higher than a year ago.

Buyers are still getting significant incentive from low mortgage rates. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances up to $510,400 fell to 3.07 percent for loans with a 20 percent down payment.

For the 15-year fixed rate mortgage, the rate declined to a record low of 2.62 percent on conventional loans.

“There continues to be resiliency in the purchase market,” said Joel Kan, an MBA economist. “The average loan size continued to increase, hitting a survey high at $368,600. Highlighting the strong overall demand for buying a home, conventional, VA and FHA purchase applications all increased last week.”

Applications to refinance a home loan rose 3 percent for the week and were 60 percent higher than a year ago. Refinance volume has been extremely high since rates plummeted last March, but the pool of borrowers who haven’t already taken advantage of these low rates is shrinking.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.1% of total applications from 62.5% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 2.2% of total applications.

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