Beyond the Mortgage Crisis | St. Louis Public Radio

Beyond the Mortgage Crisis

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: On Tuesday, Steven Peterson of Belleville received a check for $2,000 -- his portion of a $3.6 billion settlement reached earlier this year between lenders and federal regulators that replaced a failed foreclosure review process.

"I would call it a down payment on justice,’’ said Peterson, whose mortgage struggles started when he was laid off in 2009. "We’ll see if they want to pay the rest of the tab. I know I already have.’’

One of the Hoffmans' granddaughters looks across their yard toward their house.
Jaime Salas, daughter of Rick and Karen Hoffman | St. Louis Beacon | 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Part 3: For Rick and Karen Hoffman of St. Peters, foreclosure salvation came in an unlikely, roundabout way, beginning with yet another letter they didn’t understand from a government agency they had never heard of.

One of the Hoffmans' granddaughters looks across their yard toward their house.
Jaime Salas, daughter of Rick and Karen Hoffman | St. Louis Beacon | 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Part 1: The story of how Rick and Karen Hoffman of St. Peters saved their two-story American dream from foreclosure began during the nation’s financial crisis and stretched into this summer — a period roughly bookended by the 2008 presidential election and the coming one in November.

Rick Hoffman carries one of his granddaughters outside his home.
Jaime Salas, the Hoffmans' daughter | St. Louis Beacon | 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Part 2: Rick and Karen Hoffman of St. Peters, who fended off foreclosure for three years, say they are relieved they were finally able to secure an affordable mortgage modification, but they have lingering questions about the process that is intended to help struggling homeowners.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - While it can be argued that all levels of the lending industry played some part in the sub-prime mortgage collapse, economist William Emmons of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis adds another factor: household financial behavior.

Emmons believes the sub-prime mortgage meltdown was a long time coming and is linked to the downward trend in both U.S. personal and national saving.

'We get to stay in our home'

Jul 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008 - Housing counselor Eric Madkins was on the phone with one of his foreclosure success stories: a 26-year-old homeowner from Jennings who found help at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis after her husband was laid off last Christmas.

The mother of three described how her family's near-miss with foreclosure had affected her children.

Chris Krehmeyer
Provided by Beyond Housing

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - She is a 34-year-old married mother of two who is whittling away at $20,000 of debt – a saga she shares on her Web site www.paidtwice.com.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Congress will approve a housing bill that includes foreclosure relief for troubled American homeowners promptly after the Fourth of July recess, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said Saturday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The foreclosure numbers are staggering, acknowledges Colleen Hernandez, president and executive director of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation that manages 888-995-HOPE, a national hotline for Americans seeking counseling assistance.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Over the coming weeks, the Beacon, in partnership with KETC Channel 9, will be reporting on the sticky web of issues surrounding foreclosure - a crisis for nearly 2 million Americans, including thousands in the St. Louis region who have lost their stake in the American Dream.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - If you -- or someone you know -- are worried about making house payments, it's time to take action. Trouble is, mortgage talk is a language many homeowners do not understand. ARMs, resets, balloons ... and the dreaded F word: Foreclosure.

A sub-prime mortgage, for example, is not a reference to the interest rate of the loan but to the credit history of the borrowers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Get help now. Open your mail. Answer the phone. Don't avoid those calls from your lender; deal with your mortgage problems while you still can.