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Program Helps Homebuyers Avoid Pitfalls

By Sylvia Maria Gross

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kcur/local-kcur-594139.mp3

Kansas City, MO – Housing sales were booming all over the country, until recently. Many people who had never owned a home had their first opportunity to buy one. But an increase in risky mortgages and predatory lending practices have meant some of those folks couldn't keep up with the payments, and found themselves at risk of losing their houses.

Homefree USA is a national organization, with an affiliate here in Kansas City, that helps people purchase their first homes. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross spoke to the local and national directors, she found that more and more homeowners are turning to the organization for help.

Homefree USA national president Marcia Griffin joined Kansas City executive director Elma Warrick this weekend for a homebuying seminar at St. James United Methodist Church. The non-profit has helped some 4000 individuals and families throughout the country purchase their first homes. And that's including 150 in Kansas City since 2003. But Elma Warrick says that since the subprime mortgage crisis, she's heard from a lot of homeowners who didn't know what they had gotten into.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, sign up for the KC Currents Podcast .

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