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Spanning the Region

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kentucky Sets Up Center for Homeowners in Trouble

The 2008 Kentucky General Assembly has established the Kentucky Homeownership Protection Center to address the state’s foreclosure issue. The center provides support and guidance to homeowners who are in default or in danger of defaulting on their mortgage loan.

The center is administered by the Kentucky Housing Corp. (KHC), which will collect data for the governor’s office.

KHC has created a referral system in conjunction with service providers in counseling and Legal Aid. Homeowners can call a toll-free number if they need help. The number is 1-866-830-7868. Information and resources for Kentucky homeowners also are available at

The center is a joint effort of the Department of Financial Institutions, KHC and many other organizations across the state.

Benefit Bank of Arkansas Opens Argenta CDC Site

The Benefit Bank of Arkansas recently opened a new site at Argenta CDC in North Little Rock, Ark.

Benefit Bank is a $1.4 million program funded through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Its purpose is to provide convenient offices where families can go to learn about benefits that may be available to them.

Each year in Arkansas, about $280 million in benefits and tax refunds, most of which are federal, go unclaimed. The program emphasizes the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, Transitional Employment Assistance and medical benefits, including Medicaid and ArkKids B.

The Benefit Bank is a joint effort between the state of Arkansas and the Arkansas Interfaith Conference in partnership with the Department of Workforce Services and Department of Human Services.

Benefit Bank is offering this free public service from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only at Argenta CDC, 401 Main St., Suite 200, in North Little Rock. Clients needing appointments outside the listed hours of operation will be accommodated.

For additional information, call 501-374-0622 or e-mail

Organizations interested in finding out how to support this effort or host a site should go to Offices can be located in any public place where a computer and Internet access are available.

The Benefit Bank of Arkansas also has sites in Hempstead, Izard, Mississippi, Montgomery, Phillips, Pulaski and Washington counties.

Credit Card Solicitations Limited on Tennessee Campuses

Acquiring credit cards may be a lot less tempting to college students in Tennessee since a new law went into effect July 1, 2008. The law limits the amount of soliciting companies can do to get students to open credit card accounts.

The new law states that:

  • When institutions of the University of Tennessee or the state board of regents systems collect personal information from students for campus directories, they must include a section where students can indicate they do not want to receive credit card solicitations.
  • Credit card issuers may not recruit potential customers on campus, at school facilities or through student organizations. An amendment to the law allows them to recruit on days when athletic events occur, as long as it is in accordance with university policies.
  • Recruiters may not offer promotional incentives to students on campus or at school facilities to persuade them to apply for a credit card.
  • Any funds the University of Tennessee or state board of regents systems receives from the distribution and use of credit cards by students and how the funds were spent must be reported annually to the select oversight committee on education.

The law responds to concerns about students acquiring credit card debt before graduating from college. By the time college students reach their senior year, 56 percent of them own four or more credit cards, with an average balance of $2,864, according to Nellie Mae, a Sallie Mae student loan company.