Making Home Affordable

April 10, 2009

We recently gave Eric Madkins, Director of Housing and Foreclosure Intervention at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, a Flip video camera so he could record his opinions on the new Making Home Affordable plan.  In this video, Mr. Madkins explains what the plan is trying to do, and he talks about how the plan may help homeowners.

For more information about Making Home Affordable, CLICK HERE.

To watch the video of Eric Madkins, click on the picture below:


Tip of the Day: Have Emergency Savings (2/24/09)

February 24, 2009

In today’s tip Dennis Johnson of ClearPoint Financial Solutions and Eric Madkins of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis discuss the importance of having emergency savings. They suggest having at least 3-6 months worth of living expenses saved, just in case something happens. Right now it’s more important than ever to be proactive and plan ahead. The more prepared we are, the better we’ll be able to weather this financial crisis.

Learn how YOU can be proactive!

February 19, 2009

On Tuesday, January 27, 2009, KETC/Channel 9 broadcast “Facing the Financial Crisis” to help the community learn more about how to deal with the current economic climate. This is a summary of the broadcast town hall meeting, which Ruth Ezell hosted, where community specialists answered specific questions on the financial crisis. The panel consisted of Chris Krehmeyer, president and CEO, Beyond Housing; Eric Madkins, director of housing and foreclosure intervention, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis; Jacqueline Tammenga, area director, ClearPoint Financial Solutions; and Todd Swanstrom, Des Lee endowed professor of community collaboration and public policy administration at UMSL’s Public Policy Research Center. You can check out the video below.



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

Facing the Finanancial Crisis – LIVE TONIGHT!

January 27, 2009

Tune into Channel 9 TONIGHT or watch the live-stream of Facing the Financial Crisis at 7:00pm CST.

Channel 9 producer Ruth Ezell and a panel of experts discuss the impact of the national financial crisis in our area and answer questions from the audience. A team of counselors and advisors from area nonprofit organizations will be on the phones to answer specific viewer questions and connect residents with local resources.

You can watch online at 7pm CST tonight here:

You can join us for a live chat – after the show – at 8pm CST by clicking below:

Facing the Financial Crisis

The importance of communicating with your mortgage company

November 17, 2008

Written by: Eric Madkins

The Importance of Communicating With Your Mortgage Company

For years housing counselors have worked with existing and potential homeowners.  Whether it is helping homeowners realize the American Dream and/or sustaining that very dream. Today the act of “sustaining” is vital as economic conditions worsen. 


For homeowners who are facing difficulties with their current mortgage, I cannot stress the importance of effective and consistent communication with your mortgage lender or loan servicer.  When I say communication, I mean written and verbal communication.  If your loan is past due, the letters from the mortgage company often continue to pile up.  Please take the time to open and read the letters from your lender!!!  There are new programs that lenders such as Countrywide, Bank of America and Citigroup are extending to their borrowers.  If you are eligible for one of these programs you will receive written communication via postal mail.


Another aspect of communication is verbal.  I know that many borrowers facing difficulty with their mortgage are inundated with collection calls.  Some of the calls may seem never ending.  With several collections departments of these mortgage companies, the main objective is to collect on the debt. 


For borrowers receiving such calls, I recommend requesting to speak to someone in the loss mitigation department.  This department, besides looking to collect on the debt, can actually offer a long-term solution for the borrower.  Again, if you need assistance, in working with your lender do not hesitate to contact a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency. 


A word of advice: if you are working directly with loss mitigation be realistic about the type of plan offered and be forthright about household expenses.  If you enter into a plan without the help of a housing counselor, make sure that the plan is achievable and affordable. 


And lastly, the next form of communication is listening.  Continue to remain informed about the overall mortgage industry because the situation is changing daily.  Many of these changes can have a positive impact on your current mortgage.   In addition, through public policy there are changes that have occurred that may help borrowers, especially borrowers with adjustable rate mortgage.  To find out if you qualify for special programs, please contact your lender and open your mail.  For further information contact a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency, too.


Eric Madkins is a HUD approved housing counselor with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. He can be contacted by e-mail at and by phone at 314-615-3644.

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.

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