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

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New Bill Proposes to Fight Vacant Properties

June 22, 2009

The city of St. Louis is leading the country in the number of empty houses per person. Recently, this number has grown even more due to the increase in foreclosures brought on by the mortgage crisis.  Empty homes lead to crime and can ruin entire neighborhoods.  The city of St. Louis is now working to fight this growing problem. 

Sunday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on a bill presented to the city’s Board of Aldermen.  The bill requires that owners of vacant buildings register those buildings and pay a fee each year the property remains empty.  To read the entire article about the proposed registry, CLICK HERE.

You can do your part to be a good neighbor.  Actions as simple as raking leaves or picking up trash around vacant properties can help keep your neighborhood safe.  Watch the Living St. Louis segment below to learn how the Spanish Lake community is working together to address the problem of abandoned homes in the neighborhood.  To learn how you can volunteer, call United Way’s 2-1-1 Referral Service at (800) 427-4626—they’ll help connect you with trusted resources.


Living St. Louis Spotlight on Credit Counseling

June 18, 2009

KETC’s Living St. Louis program recently featured a segment on credit counseling.  Producer Ruth Ezell follows the story of Laurie Ferrer and her family.  Like many other Americans, Laurie and her husband became dependent on their credit cards.  The Ferrer family was no longer able to pay the minimum balances on all their cards and their interest rates kept getting higher; eventually their debt became too much to handle.

But Laurie and her family sought help, and they found a solution to their debt problems at ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions (formerly known as ClearPoint Financial Solutions).  ClearPoint’s counseling services have already helped the Ferrer’s decrease their debt by 25% and they expect to be debt-free in three years.

You can watch the entire Living St. Louis segment HERE, or by watching the video below. 

If you or someone you know need 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.


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.


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.


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.