Press Releases

MPTV Responds to Mortgage Crisis

August 16, 2009


MPTV Responds to Mortgage Crisis

Milwaukee, WI -- Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV) has kicked off a public awareness and outreach campaign as a response to the foreclosure problem that is facing many in Southeastern Wisconsin. This effort is part of the national "Facing the Mortgage Crisis" public media project with the goal of connecting people at risk of foreclosure to trusted local resources. The program is made possible in part through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

MPTV and its radio partners WGTD in Kenosha and WHAD in Milwaukee will use their on-air resources to drive Southeastern Wisconsinites in mortgage crisis to dial 2-1-1 or call the toll free My Money Help Line at 1-888-861-3111. They will in turn refer callers to a number of local nonprofit counseling agencies that offer free services to help people in mortgage crisis.

"We are hearing from people that have never had to ask for help before," says Bob Waite, 2-1-1 @ IMPACT Program Director. He goes on to say, "They may feel ashamed and embarrassed and 'lost' about where to get help. They may also be frustrated because they feel they have been treated unfairly-that they have worked all their lives to have a home of their own only to have it taken away from them so suddenly. The loss of that sense of security and having to start over again can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there is help available to at least provide some answers so people can begin planning for their future."

A companion webpage has been created and can be accessed by going to www.mptv.org and clicking on the Facing the Mortgage link or clicking "Facing the Mortgage Crisis" The site provides video clips pertaining to the mortgage crisis, advice from outside sources on how to avoid losing one's home, the ability for people to tell their own mortgage crisis stories, and most importantly a list of agencies and services available here in Southeastern Wisconsin.

"It is important that people who are concerned about losing their home contact a trusted resource in their community" states Trena Bond, executive director for Housing Resources Inc. (HRI). HRI is one of the nonprofit counseling agencies assisting in this effort, providing services free of charge. Ms. Bond goes on to state that, "The sooner a homeowner, who is in crisis, contacts a counseling agency, the sooner we are able to help them explore workout options."

Mortgage foreclosure filings in the seven-county Southeastern Wisconsin region increased about 15% from May to June (949 to 1,095). In Milwaukee County alone, they jumped to 640 (up more than 20%).

By raising public awareness, mobilizing networks of trusted community partners, and by aggregating community resources, public media organizations can make a significant difference in the communities they serve. Additionally, MPTV will produce three special live programs the week of August 24 to share information and stories: ADELANTE! (8/25), BLACK NOUVEAU (8/26), and a TOWN HALL (8/27).

Since its inception, MPTV has educated, entertained and inspired. Today, MPTV offers viewers a family of nine digital channels to choose from, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. MPTV is a viewer-supported service of Milwaukee Area Technical College. For more information, call 414-271-1036.
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