Getting the word out

February 19, 2009

One of the big conversations that we’ve been having at Channel 9 recently is how to utilize already existing community networks that already exist to get people connected to resources. For the last eight months we’ve been working at this by utilizing our capabilities on-air, online, and in the community, but there are still many people that don’t know where to go for help.

What we keep hearing consistently is that the only way that we can do this is through people like you. The Facing the Financial Crisis initiative is not about Channel 9, or even about our partners. This initiative is about finding ways to work together to strengthen our community. In order to do this all St. Louisans must work together to help their families, neighbors, and communities respond to this financial crisis. As a community resource, Channel 9 is responding by making sure that peolpe know where to go for help.

In order to do this we are using our traditional broadcast capabilities, but we are also using this website and really getting out into the community ourselves and through our partners. Please help us proliferate this information by forwarding on the resources contained in this website AND by getting out into your communities. To assist in getting the word out we’ve asked our 26 community partners for feedback on what an effective community resource flyer would like. We’ve taken their input and have created a flyer that can be distributed throughout the St. Louis community. To download and print this flyer click on the link below, and remember that the only way we’re going to come out of this crisis is by supporting each other.

Community Resource Flyer


Tip of the Day 2/13/09

February 13, 2009

Get out your pens and pencils because it’s time for another this Friday the 13th edition of Tip of the Day! This video features Eric Madkins, Director of Housing and Foreclosure Intervention, for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and Karen Wallensak, Director of the Catholic Charities Housing Resource Center. They recommend for homeowners who are in trouble with their mortgage to seek help from trusted housing counseling agencies. To get connected to these agencies you can call the United Way’s 2-1-1 information referral service at 1-800-427-4626 or visit their website at

Resources that can help…

January 28, 2009

If you or someone you know is having trouble making their mortgage payment or needs some type of financial counseling assistance please call the United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service at 1-800-427-4626 or visit their website at

For Financial Counseling assistance you can click on the link here Clearpoint Financial Solutions or call them at 1-877-422-9040.

For Housing Counseling assistance please click on this link here and call the agency closest to you. Or call the United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service at 1-800-427-4626

For Fraud Assistance please contact the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office at 314-612-1412 or e-mail them at

For mental health support go to or call their crisis hotline at 314-647-HELP (4357) or their toll-free number at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For other a variety of services contact the Salvation Army, Midland Division visit their website or call them at 314-646-3000.

For support that includes food and utility services contact the Human Development Corporation of St. Louis by clicking here or calling them at 314-613-2200.

Linda Ingram: Hope for Homeowners

November 5, 2008
November 5, 2008


Linda Ingram, a certified HUD Housing Counselor and the Director of Foreclosure Prevention Services at Beyond Housing, will become a regular contributor to this blog. Here is her first post:


What to do if you are struggling to pay a mortgage that is significantly more than the decreased value of your home?


Although there is a new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program as of October 1, 2008, called Hope for Homeowners (H4H), not many homeowners know about it and even fewer lenders are actually making these loans.  If everyone would call the lenders and ask about it, maybe the program will be implemented.


Briefly, the loan will help homeowners refinance into a new loan insured by FHA that will be no more that 90 % of the NEW APPRAISED value. The borrower must agree to share with FHA both the immediate 10% equity and any future appreciation of the loan. 


You can read more about Hope For Homeowners at


To contact Linda Ingram directly please call 314-533-0600 or send her an e-mail at


You can watch Linda Ingram on one of our Facing the Mortgage Crisisprograms below.

Eric Madkins: There IS Help Available

November 3, 2008
November 3, 2008

Eric Madkins, of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, is a certified HUD housing counselor and the Director of Housing and Foreclosure Intervention. In this post he talks about the importance of being proactive in addressing your mortgage situtation:

The housing market has seen many ups and downs as home values continue to decrease, which leaves many homeowners with negative equity. Recently, a lot of borrowers that we encounter often ask, “Will the market ever reach the bottom?”  The answer is somewhat esoteric at this point, because there really isn’t a specific date or timeline for the end or the beginning of a turnaround. However, in the meantime, based on experience in working with hundreds of lenders and loan services, homeowners do have options, if they are having difficulties making their mortgage payments.

Read the rest of this entry »

KETC: “My source for saving my home.”

October 10, 2008
October 10, 2008

For the past four months, KETC has worked together with 25 community partners to provide a network of trusted resources for individuals facing foreclosure. From day one the thought has been, “If we can prevent even one foreclosure, it’s worth the effort.”

Watch what KETC and its partners have been able to achieve so far in this impact, created for The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s (CPB) MySource campaign.

St. Louis Fed Convenes Innovators to Face the Crisis

October 1, 2008
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:


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:


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: