Debt

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The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis just released a report about various kinds of debt and how it is impacting different populations in St. Louis, Memphis, Little Rock and Louisville. Spoiler alert: yes, student loan debt is still crippling the younger generation…as are car loans.

As the report points out, the delinquency rate for young borrowers has increased since before the recession. Such delinquency rates can mean a host of problems in accessing credit and the ability to save as young Americans start their adult lives.

Attorney General Chris Koster speaks a press conference Thursday in St. Louis with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri's Dan Glaizer.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants a Supreme Court committee to alter court procedures surrounding debt collections. It’s an initiative that Koster says is an extension a public policy push emanating from the unrest in Ferguson.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Americans who are paying off private student loans might find insights into their complicated monthly statements in a recent annual report published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Private loans have drawn the scrutiny of Rohit Chopra, the student loan ombudsman for the bureau, a federal agency established by Congress in 2010 to oversee the consumer financial industry.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The continuing debate over government austerity programs recalls John Maynard Keynes observation that “madmen in authority … are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The email arrived unsolicited. A friend forwarded it to my inbox after he’d received it from a mutual acquaintance. Nobody seems to know who wrote the thing originally. Attribution is apparently not a high priority among internet theorists.

Like so many of the factoids circulating through cyberspace, the text was intended to be read in cursory fashion and then shared with others as revealed truth. This particular missive sought to compare the nation’s financial situation to a family budget. It concluded — wrongly — that pending federal cuts equated to a $38.50 reduction in spending for a household making $21,700 a year.

Flickr/JimBowen0306

Ill. unpaid bills top $4.2 billion in Comptroller's office

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says there are  even more bills piled up in other government departments. She said Wednesday the state's overall backlog is about $8.5 billion. That means organizations that provide services for the state, from businesses to hospitals to charity groups, must wait months to be paid for their work. Topinka's office is still paying bills that date back to Sept. 1 - four and a half months ago.

(Julie Linder/St. Louis Public Schools)

For the first time in a decade, the St. Louis Public Schools will be debt-free.

Superintendent Kelvin Adams announced today that the district has entered an agreement with the plaintiffs in a 1972 case over the district's segregation policies that frees up $96 million for debt reduction and district operations.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

On Saturday, Standard and Poor's downgraded the debt of the United States a notch.

But the ratings firm continues to see debt issued by the city of St. Louis as a good investment, though vulnerable to economic shocks.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wants to suspend about $1 billion in state income tax payments to cities and counties unless he gets legislative approval to borrow billions of dollars to pay overdue bills.

Quinn floated the plan in draft legislation he showed lawmakers earlier this week. It was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

A three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals has dismissed two lawsuits filed by Attorney General Chris Koster that argued debt collection companies were violating the state's Merchandising Practices Act.

The rulings appear to be the first time a state court has considered whether the MPA applies to third-party actors like debt collectors.