Local Communities Struggle With Empty Houses

June 25, 2009

The Suburban Journals recently followed a Collinsville community service officer as she made her rounds citing houses desperately in need of maintenance.  Community service officers monitor neglected homes and unkept yards.  Since the mortgage crisis and the subsequent rise in foreclosures, their job has gotten a lot more difficult.  Communities all over Missouri are struggling with how to handle abandoned and foreclosed homes. 

To read more about what Collinsville and other local communities are doing about empty homes, CLICK HERE

In tough times, it’s especially important to help our neighbors.  If there are vacant or abandoned properties in your neighborhood, do your part to keep your neighborhood safe—you can rake leaves, mow the lawn, or just pick up trash to keep homes clean. 

For volunteer opportunities in your area, call United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service at (800) 427-4626.

Do you have stories to share about volunteering in your neighborhood?  Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

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Finding Your Way Out of a Scam: Dawn Walters Describes Her Experience

June 24, 2009

Facing foreclosure last year, Dawn sought help and found a company that was “very willing” to “help”.  As months went by, Dawn realized that the company was taking advantage of her. She paid the company large up-front and monthly fees without results.

Dawn searched for help again and found Beyond Housing.  Their free support and counseling allowed her to keep her home.  Watch Dawn talk about the free help she found at Beyond Housing in the video below.

Legitimate housing counseling agencies won’t contact you or send advertisements. You should be wary of any company that charges for housing counseling and/or seeks you out.

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


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.


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.


This American Life: No Map

May 26, 2009

A few weeks ago This American Life aired an episode called “No Map.”  One of the topics covered was the mortgage crisis, and the fact that many people who are facing foreclosure have “no map”–no past experience, no guidelines–for facing the mortgage crisis.

The podcast can be found in the Episode Archive–May 15, #380: “No Map.”  The story begins around 9 minutes into the program.


KWMU–Facing the Mortgage Crisis Programs

May 21, 2009

Don’t forget to check out KWMU‘s Facing the Mortgage Crisis programming in the next couple weeks: 

  • Hard Times in Middletown,” hosted by Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace, will air from 8-9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26th. 
  • Bridge to Somewhere,” hosted by Steven Smith, will air from 8-9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2nd.

These are the final two documentaries in a series of four from American RadioWorks®–the documentaries help explain the current economic crisis that we’re facing.

To read more about KWMU’s Facing the Mortgage Crisis programs, CLICK HERE–and don’t forget to tune in to 90.7 FM to listen!