UMSL Brown Bag Series

April 30, 2009

Last month KETC/Channel 9 attended one of the Brown Bag Series luncheons at University of Missouri – St. Louis. The topic of the luncheon was Facing the Financial Crisis: Using the Media to Address Community Issues. Thomas McPhail, Ph.D., a professor at UMSL, moderated the luncheon; the two panelists were Debbie Irwin, Foreclosure Taskforce Coordinator, and Dale Berenc, Manager of Education Services at KETC. Topics discussed included new media and the mortgage/financial crisis.

Here’s one of the clips from the luncheon.  To watch the rest, visit our YouTube channel or CLICK HERE.

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Renters and the Mortgage Crisis–KWMU

April 24, 2009

Today Maria Altman of KWMU did a report on renters and foreclosure.  While owners get 20 days’ notice of a foreclosure, renters often don’t get any notice at all. 

While there’s legislation that’s trying to change this process, as of now renters are in a difficult position.  Ms. Altman gave a few suggestions for people who are afraid their landlord might be facing foreclosure–for example, contacting their county’s Recorder of Deeds to request a foreclosure notice.

To listen to the full report, 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.


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.


Looking for a job after college?

April 16, 2009

This article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details the difficulty that graduating college students are having in finding a job post-graduation. The article says that most graduates should tack on an extra three months to their job search. What does that mean for graduates who aren’t able to go home to live with their parents after school? To view the article click here.

Intern Lauren Schwarze is a senior at Wahington University in St. Louis and has been detailing her job search for us. Here’s her latest video post.


My Career Search: Week 5

April 13, 2009

Hi everyone,

Here’s the video for Week 5 of my career search!  With graduation only about 4 weeks away, the days seem to be going faster and faster, but I’m still doing everything I can to secure a position following graduation.

A couple weeks ago I visited Staffing Solutions, Inc., a local placement firm in St. Louis, to interview them about the St. Louis job market.  It was a great opportunity because they had some fantastic suggestions for job seekers like me. 

To check out all the videos from our interview, CLICK HERE.


It’s Hip to be Cheap

April 10, 2009

I found an article in The New York Times today that talks about the growing popularity of being “cheap.”  Kellee Sikes of Kirkwood was interviewed and she shared how she’s been saving money: by no longer using paper napkins.  To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

As more and more people find themselves facing unemployment or reduced hours (or they fear that they may soon be in that position), it’s now popular to be frugal.  I know I’ve tried to group together errands so I can save money on gas, and my friends and I don’t go out to dinner anymore.  So my question to you is, how have you been saving money in this recession?  If you have a story or a tip to share, leave a comment–we’d love to hear from you!