Facing the Mortgage Crisis

CINCINNATI, OH - Every day more and more families throughout our region lose their homes because they have lost their job, or can't afford unexpectedly larger mortgage payments. As unemployment increases, adjustable rate mortgages re-set and property values fall, homeowners at all ends of the economic spectrum find themselves facing the prospect of foreclosure. In 2008, there were 6,673 new foreclosure filings in Hamilton County, an increase of 6.3 percent over 2007. This rate of increase is more than double Ohio's statewide average.


In response to this crisis threatening neighborhoods in the Greater Cincinnati region, CET and 91.7 WVXU are launching Facing the Mortgage Crisis, a community engagement initiative designed to connect area residents to trusted foreclosure prevention resources. Building on their role as public media organizations, CET and WVXU are working with a variety of community service organizations to connect those in need with those who can help including: The Better Housing League, Consumer Credit Counseling Service, HOME, The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, SmartMoney Community Services, United Way 211 and Working in Neighborhoods with support from The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.


Facing the Mortgage Crisis will launch on CET and WVXU on June 25. WVXU's Impact Cincinnati program at 9:20 a.m. and CET's community affairs program, Focus, at 7:30 p.m. will introduce the project and offer trusted resources for local homeowners in need of assistance. The programs will also point homeowners to www.cincymortgagecrisis.org, a website that presents reliable and trusted resources for individuals needing assistance.


During June, July and August, each station will use its resources to focus on this subject. CET's Focus, WVXU's Cincinnati Edition and Impact Cincinnati, and both station's websites will offer comprehensive discussions of the challenges and solutions, each one answering the questions most frequently asked by homeowners, such as ''Am I in danger of losing my home?'' and ''Can I get money to help make a payment?'' The programs, on air spots and websites will feature United Way's 2-1-1 as a number to call for information and referrals to assistance.


One feature crucial to homeowners in crisis will be an online checklist of every form and document required to secure assistance to avoid foreclosure. As assistance agencies become more and more inundated, the slower the process can become. By following this checklist, homeowners can arrive completely prepared to assist the agency in avoiding foreclosure more quickly and efficiently. This checklist and other resources can be found on the Facing the Mortgage Crisis website by going to CETconnect.org, wvxu.org, or cincymortgagecrisis.org.


Here is the tentative schedule of programming for June, July and August. A call-in program is being scheduled for October to provide even more opportunities to connect those who can help with those who need it.


JUNE 25: Impact Cincinnati – The Current Status of the Mortgage Crisis and Availability of 211

Focus – The Current Status of the Mortgage Crisis and Availability of 211

JULY 23 Impact Cincinnati – Fraud & Scams and Report from the Task Force

JULY (Date TBD): Focus – Fraud & Scams and Report from the Task Force

JULY (Date TBD): Focus – Foreclosure mediators and their role as a liaison between homeowners and mortgage companies.

JULY - AUGUST: Cincinnati Edition - A ten-part interview series focusing on various aspects of the mortgage crisis and the assistance available through the community partners. For more information on this series, visit wvxu.org.

AUGUST 27: Impact Cincinnati – The new Tenant's Law and the need for volunteer lawyers

AUGUST 27: Focus – The new Tenant's Law and the need for volunteer lawyers

The above programming will be available on www.cincymortgagecrisis.org following each broadcast as well as CET's and WVXU's websites, respectively.


For more information, contact Rachel Kellerman (CET) at 513-381-4033 ext 330 or Kevin Reynolds (WVXU) at 513-419-7104.

CET is Greater Cincinnati's leading provider of education and enrichment in both living rooms and classrooms, reaching more than 2 million residents, 470,000 students and 37,000 teachers. Through PBS and local programming, CETconnect.org, innovative multimedia curriculum projects, parent workshops and professional development for teachers, CET positively impacts our community with rich and diverse resources. CET was the first licensed educational television station in the nation, the first high-definition public station in Ohio, and, through CETconnect.org, the first public television station to offer a community-based public media on-demand service. Visit the CETconnect website for more information about CET.


Facing the Mortgage Crisis