KWMU: Financial Literacy Program 5/28

May 27, 2009

Thursday, May 28th, the topic of KWMU‘s St. Louis on the Air will be financial literacy for all ages.  Guests on the program include Ms. Suzanne Gellman, Consumer Economics Specialist at University of Missouri Extension; Cassandra Kaufman, Director of Community Investment at the United Way of Greater St. Louis; and Yvonne Maldonado, Youth Specialist at Kingdom House.

Be sure to tune in to 90.7 FM from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. tomorrow for a great discussion about financial literacy!

To read more about KWMU’s Facing the Mortgage Crisis programs, CLICK HERE.


Renters and the Mortgage Crisis

April 22, 2009

Yesterday the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an article about the effect of the mortgage crisis on renters–if a rental property is foreclosed on, even renters who pay their rent on time every month can find themselves out on the streets with little to no warning. 

The article mentioned a few bills in the House and the Senate that are trying to extend the length of time renters have in foreclosed properties, but none of the bills have been passed yet.

If you or someone you know may be in this situation–if your landlord has been foreclosed on, or you think he or she may be–call United Way’s 2-1-1 Referral Service at (800) 427-4626.  They can connect you with local, trusted resources. 

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.


Mortgage Scams

April 20, 2009

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported today that the Missouri attorney general is suing two companies they believe are involved with mortgage scams.  To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Over the summer Ruth Ezell did a Living St. Louis segment on mortgage scams.  You can check out the video below.

Legitimate housing counseling agencies won’t contact you or send out advertisements.  Their services also shouldn’t cost anything.  You should be wary of any company that seeks you out and/or that is charging you a lot of money for housing counseling.

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, make sure you use a HUD-certified housing counseling agency.  To find one, call United Way’s 2-1-1 Referral Service at (800) 427-4626.


Debt Settlement Companies

April 20, 2009

Yesterday in The New York Times there was an article about debt settlement companies.  The article features one West Virginia family who used a debt settlement company to try to manage their thousands of dollars of credit card debt, only to end up with higher credit card balances than before.  The company took around $4,000 from the family, but didn’t help them manage their credit cards at all.

During these tough economic times, we need to be aware of companies saying they’ll take care of foreclosure or credit card debt.  Make sure you work with a non-profit counseling agency; for foreclosure help, the company should be HUD-certified

If you or someone you know needs credit counseling, call United Way’s 2-1-1 Referral Service at (800) 427-4626–they’ll help connect you with trusted resources.  You can also contact one of our partners, ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, for help with credit card debt.  If you think you may have been part of a fraudulent scheme, contact the FBI.    

To read the full article from The New York Times, CLICK HERE.


Funding for United Way’s Helpline

March 23, 2009

Last week the St. Louis Business Journal announced that the United Way of Greater St. Louis’s 2-1-1 helpline will be getting $238,000 in federal funding.

Throughout our work on Facing the Financial Crisis, United Way has been a valuable partner—their 2-1-1 referral service has connected many people to trusted resources. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about what the funding will mean for the United Way of Greater St. Louis, and potentially for our region.

To read the full article in the St. Louis Business Journal, CLICK HERE.


The Financial Crisis Explained, Part 4

March 18, 2009

In this final segment from our January call-in program, the panelists talk about using home equity loans to pay off credit card debts—something they don’t recommend. Also, St. Louis resident Sue Livingston talks about how her home was saved after watching KETC. Ms. Livingston sought help from Beyond Housing and she wants people to know that it’s okay to ask for help.


The Financial Crisis Explained, Part 3

March 16, 2009

In this segment from our hour-long call-in show that aired in January, panelists answer questions from phone calls, e-mails, and the audience. Included are how we can educate kids on financial literacy, and if it’s possible to waive late fees and reduce interest rates for credit cards if you negotiate with your credit card company.