St. Louis Fed Convenes Innovators to Face the Crisis

October 1, 2008

 

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, a Facing the Mortgage Crisis project partner, teamed up with the Minneapolis and Chicago Federal Reserve Banks to put on a seminar called “Neighborhood Stabilization in Weak Markets.” The seminar, though open to the public, filled up quickly, a testament to the timeliness of the conference and importance of the issue.

 

Among the attendees was another Facing the Mortgage Crisis project partner, Mike Duncan of the St. Louis County Department of Planning, who I spoke to about his experience. Mike was effusive in his praise of the conference, which he described as timely in light of the soon-to-be released HUD guidelines for Neighborhood Stabilization grants. The conference featured innovative presentations and state of the art methods for addressing the issue of neighborhood stabilization. He hopes that the conference will help the state and local government officials who attended to use their grant money in effective ways to maximize its benefit to the community.

 

The conference is part of the Federal Reserve System’s Recovery, Renewal and Rebuilding series, which you can learn more about at:

 

http://www.stlouisfed.org/RRRseries/

 

I also spoke to Matt Ashby of the St. Louis Federal Reserve about not only the conference, which was a great success, but also about what the bank is doing on a regular basis on issues related to the mortgage crisis. The bank takes a three-pronged approach to the crisis: mitigating, preventing, and intervening. To learn more about what the St. Louis branch is doing on the mortgage crisis, check out their new Foreclosure Resource Center at:

 

http://www.stlouisfed.org/foreclosure/default.html

               

The Fed also plays a supervisory role in this crisis, so Matt was excited to get the word out about new regulations that help the Fed to prevent mortgage fraud and protect consumers. These regulations were developed based on the Truth in Lending Act. They tighten restrictions on lenders so that they are required to check on basic things like whether a person has the ability to pay back their loans. To learn more about the new regulations, check out the press release at:

 

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/20080714a.htm

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