Unemployment Leads to More Foreclosures Across the Country

June 23, 2009

A new wave of foreclosures is affecting areas of the country not previously hard-hit by the mortgage crisis.  USA Today reports that these foreclosures are different from the foreclosures at the beginning of the mortgage crisis in 2007.  Instead of being caused by risky subprime lending, the recent increase in foreclosures is due to rising unemployment.  In the ongoing economic recession, more and more people are losing their jobs and are unable to keep up with their mortgage payments.

To learn more about how unemployment is affecting the housing market, you can read the entire article HERE.  If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, contact a HUD-certified counselor.  To find one, call United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service at (800) 427-4626.  2-1-1 can also connect you with resources and information about employment, food, health care, counseling, and other services.


Obama Announces Major Financial Reforms

June 17, 2009

President Obama announced his plan today for sweeping reforms of the nation’s financial systems.  Among these reforms is the establishment of the Consumer Protection Agency.  CNN reports that the agency will help to protect consumers from deceptive financial services and to regulate mortgages, credit cards, payday lending, and other similar financial practices. 

These changes are part of an effort to address the risky mortgage lending that led to the financial crisis America is facing right now.  To learn more about Obama’s announcement, you can read the entire article online HERE.

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.


Foreclosures Increase for Prime Borrowers

June 9, 2009

Since the beginning of the mortgage crisis, many experts have blamed the explosion in foreclosures on risky sub-prime loans.  But USA Today reported recently that the rate of foreclosure for prime borrowers has been increasing, mainly because of rising unemployment rates.  To read the rest of the article, CLICK HERE.

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


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.